SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sen. Lou Correa (D-Orange County) presented Senate Bill 40 to the Senate Committee on Governmental Organization earlier today. Correa invited several experts to testify on the bill, which would authorize online poker in California and provide $250 million in new revenue to the state this year.
Sen. Correa based the need for SB 40 on several points, namely:
- The need for new revenue in California this year, in order to prevent triggers in the state budget that will require further, massive cuts to education.
- The need to protect consumers from fraud and theft which currently go unchecked at illegal, offshore online gambling Web sites.
- The need to pass online poker legislation before dangerous federal proposals are able to pass Congress, stripping California of potential jobs and revenue.
“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.
Experts in attendance who supported Sen. Correa’s position on passing SB 40 this year included:
- Former Speaker of the State Assembly and Mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown described the need for state regulation of online poker and the benefits of using the state’s trusted gaming partners — California Indian tribes and licensed card rooms — to operate online poker in California.
- Former State Finance Director Tim Gage, who analyzed the revenue potential of online poker in California. Gage testified that by authorizing online poker, California can generate more than $1.4 billion in new revenue over the next ten years and 1,300 new jobs.
- Rick Weil, CEO of Sciplay, a worldwide leader in Internet gaming technology, who testified that current technology allows online gaming operators, if required, to prevent minors from being able to login and play poker online through age verification software. He also described the ability to help identify problem gambling and help protect players from fraud and theft.
- Jim Wise, federal advocate and Congressional expert, who described the threat posed to California from dangerous federal legislation that threatens to ship California’s revenue to Nevada and Washington, D.C.
Wise explained the urgent need for California to move forward, noting that Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a new law last month requiring his state to adopt regulations to implement Internet gambling by January. This is further evidence 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, Wise said.
“We have an opportunity to generate 1,300 new California jobs and $1.4 billion in new state revenues instead of watching those jobs and revenues be exported to Nevada or DC through federal legislation,” Correa said. “We can’t afford to do nothing. We can’t delay. If we do, the revenue will be lost, the jobs will be lost and the opportunity will be lost.”
JULY 12 G.O. COMMITTEE HEARING – NOTABLE COMMENTS
“What our state needs right now is revenue. SB 40 will allow California to generate $250 million – a quarter-billion dollars – 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. Lou Correa, D-Orange County
“Online poker is the next frontier of gaming … Now is the time that we must move ahead of what might happen at the federal level so that the state of California will continue to be able to do the things that need to be done to keep us front and center, producing revenue and resources for this state from Internet gaming.”
-Willie Brown, Former San Francisco Mayor & former Speaker of the California State Assembly
“Based on our worldwide experience, we are confident that SB 40 is structured to in a fashion that ensures the highest industry standards for integrity and fair play for the California consumer.”
-Rick Weil, CEO SciPlay
“As a state, we cannot continue to make painful cutbacks in education law enforcement and healthcare and social services, not when there are more than $1.4 billion in new state revenues at stake and as well as more than 1,300 new California jobs through SB 40.”
-Sen. Lou Correa (D-Orange County)
“Given the licensing provisions contained in the either the (federal) Reid or Barton bills, it’s safe to assume that Nevada will be well-positioned to serve as the national gatekeeper for licensing on Internet gaming.”
-Jim Wise, federal advocate, PACE LLP