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Forget Cellphones; Casinos Say Poker Is Answer to State's Budget Woes

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    Could poker solve California's budget woes?

    California voters may have decided that marijuana was not the answer to the state's budget woes but what about gambling?

    A group of California casinos say they could raise about $1 billion over the next decade if the state legalized Internet poker.

    The problem is California is facing a $25 billion shortfall right now. But with Gov. Jerry Brown cutting costs wherever he can -- see his $20 million cell phone savings earlier this week -- $100 million a year could go a long way.

    The proposal has been put into legislation pending in the state Senate. And the group of casinos is so serious about pushing the proposal it has commissioned a study that claims the state would initially make about $82 million a year initially and it would bounce to over $100 million a year within five years.

    But is a state that refuses to kick back and relax ready to turn to gambling to cut into its budget troubles?