Online Casino Style: News
Though a few of the California Indian
Tribes are starting to come around in their support of the proposed
intrastate poker system, the vast majority are still paralyzed by their
fear that legalization of even one part of the online gambling industry
already flourishing in the US would jeopardize their income and profits.
Nonetheless, their concerns have not been able to wholly stop the bill
from moving forward as Senator Rod Wright confirmed this week that his SB
1485 proposal for the poker system would be heard before summer is out.
It’s definitely a big deal, as it would put California as one of the first states to even consider legalizing online gambling on a state level, taking advantage of states to make laws outside the bounds of federal restrictions, such as those imposed by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. It’s a move that could well benefit the state, one of the regions of the US closest to bankruptcy. The bill to introduce an intrastate poker program, which would allow online access to games hosted by land-based casinos, will be formally reviewed by the California Senate Governmental Organization Committee, the same committee on which Senator Wright sits as Chairman.
It’s not all hope and sunshine, however, as the Desert Sun reports that the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN) has submitted a formal objection to the Committee. The group is one of the most influential in the tribal world, an inter-governmental association of 11 of the federally recognized tribes. Among its members are the powerful Morongo, as well as the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Augustine bank of Mission Indians.
The Morongo band of Mission Indians are to be credited with voicing the loudest protestations. They have already tried to secure for themselves exclusive rights to any intrastate poker program that might pass, referring to their exclusivity rights as a land-based casino group. It did no good. They are especially against the fact that Senator Wright’s bill would open up the operation of such a system to bidding companies from offshore online gambling interests.
“We've always supported the concept of intrastate poker in California because of consumer protections, revenue to the state and the fact it would bring the game out of the shadows,” said Patrick Dorinson, spokesperson for the Morongo. “But we cannot support the bill in its present form. It would take money out of the state. We said this should be a game for Californians, run by Californians.”
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