A recent poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times found that almost half of those surveyed would favor the state's regulation of online poker if the promised $200 million yearly would benefit education and public safety.
However, the other half expressed concern that addicted gamblers may set a bad example on today's youth and increase the number of problem gamblers. The poll questioned 1,002 registered voters in the state, which is a small sample size considering California is the most populated state in the U.S. with over 37 million residents.
"The state of California is the leading Internet gaming market in the world,'' said Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood), who proposed online gambling legislation in February along with State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). "The only thing is, we make no money and we have no [consumer] protections for our citizens who play.''
The Golden State's budget deficit of over 9 billion prompted Wright and Steinberg to introduce SB1463, the Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012. But concerns of the state's tribal casinos and cardrooms has required the bill to be amended to address certain issues, such as the lofty $30 million licensing fee and the requirement that the fee be paid within three years.
Lawmakers have three more months to push SB1463 through the legislative process, as the session is scheduled to conclude on August 31. Failure to pass the proposal in that time will require legislators to begin anew in 2013.