On the same day Gov. Jerry Brown proposed spending cuts and tax increases to balance the state budget, Orange County State Sen. Lou Correa watched New Jersey enact a plan that he thinks could help solve California's problems.
The New Jersey State Legislature on Monday sent their governor a bill to legalize Internet gaming in the Garden State. Correa, D-Santa Ana, has introduced similar legislation in Sacramento to authorize online poker in California.
A recent study by Tim Gage, former director of the California Department of Finance under Gray Davis, and his Blue Sky Consulting Groupconcludes that regulating and taxing the profits of online poker will generate an additional $1.01 billion for the state over 10 years. A separate survey by the polling firm Tulchin Research finds that California voters overwhelmingly support the idea.
"I think this is a big revenue generator," Correa said, adding, "Californians love their computers and Californians love to be online and I think Californians are discovering that they can gamble online."
Millions of Americans play online poker despite state and federal laws designed to discourage it. Aside from New Jersey, no state allows its residents to play Internet poker amongst themselves. Federal law, meanwhile, prohibits banks and other financial institutions from transferring funds to online gaming sites.
Discussions are going on to legalize online poker for Californians.
This article may be read in full at the Orange County Register ("Can Online Poker FIx the State Budget?").