The man who got the online gaming ball rolling in California predicts failure for New Jersey’s legislation efforts but he is confident of success on the West Coast second time around. Gaming Intelligence speaks to both contenders in the race to establish America’s first online gaming state. By Steve Hoare.

Former California State assembly member Lloyd Levine reckons New Jersey’s efforts to legalise online gaming are doomed in the short term.

“This is the first time. Given the nature of politics and gaming it’s not going to be any more successful in New Jersey on the first try than it was anywhere else,” says Levine, who is now working as an adviser to Poker Voters of America (PVA), the chief lobbyist in California and Florida.

Those words have upset the New Jersey team working on its bid to get online gaming legalised. Joe Brennan of iMega is Levine’s counterpart on the East Coast, having assisted with the drafting of Senator Lesniak’s Internet Gambling Bill S490.

“Well, if credit is given to somebody who has failed to do what he set out to accomplish - which is what Mr Levine did when he was in the California state assembly - he introduced a bill that went nowhere. If that makes him an authority then so be it but right now California has no bill introduced, no legislative sponsor and they have a good portion of the tribal gaming interests thoroughly opposed to intrastate internet poker,” states Brennan.

Fighting talk indeed and such is its aggressiveness one wonders if Brennan’s team is feeling somewhat insecure. It shouldn’t.

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