If everything goes according to Sen. Lou Correa's wishes, and the Senate approves SB with haste Californians may be legally playing poker online in the early months of 2012.
On July 12th Sen. Lou Correa (D-Orange County) presented Senate Bill 40 to the California Senate Committee on Governmental Organization.
The Online Poker bill SB 40 was first introduced to Senate on December 6th 2010. The Bill was amended 3 times already, in March, May and most recently on July 6th 2011.
On July 12th Sen. Correa stressed the urgency with which SB 40 should be approved. The Bill authorizes California residents to play online poker within the state of California and provides $250 million in new revenue to the state this year.
“What our state needs right now is revenue. SB 40 will allow California to generate $250 million this fiscal year, money that will help us meet the revenues projected in this (year’s) budget but not identified. SB 40 will help avoid the triggers that will result in deeper cuts to education and other public services,” Sen. Correa said before the committee. (Source: Sen. Correa Press Release)
Experts in presence of the Committee hearing testified in support of SB 40. Among those Former State Finance Director Tim Gage, who forecast that by authorizing online poker, California can produce more than $1.4 billion in new revenue over the next ten years.
Another expert, Jim Wise, federal advocate and Congressional expert, told the Committee that Congress is ready to move on a federal bill which will put Nevada well ahead of other states in securing the market while leaving California behind.
He noted that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a new law last June requiring his state to adopt regulations to implement Internet gambling by January 2012.