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CALIFORNIAN POKER CONCERNS OVER CHOICE OF LOBBY FIRM
Friday August 12,2011 : State Assembly's new lobby firm may have a conflict of interest, say opponents.
The business relationship of Washington lobbyist firm Pace LLP with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians has raised questions on a possible conflict of interest regarding the California House of Assembly's decision in May this year to also employ the firm.
The concern is rooted in the Morongo's position as a major interested party in Bill SB40, a proposal that seeks to legalise intrastate online poker in California which has been introduced by Senator Lou Correa.
The bill, which would give exclusivity to a coalition of card rooms and tribes that include the Morongo, is opposed by other groupings alarmed at the exclusive provisions of the measure.
The publication Capitol Alert, reporting on the Pace LLB debate, says that many other tribes oppose the Correa bill, saying it doesn't give them a chance to get into the Internet poker business.
"They support online gambling but want a bill that gives more tribes the opportunity for a piece of the pie," the publication comments. "And they're the ones concerned about the Assembly hiring Morongo's federal lobbyist."
In May, the Assembly signed a $15,000-a-month contract with Pace to represent it before the federal government. Last month, Pace's managing partner Jim Wise testified at a hearing on Internet gambling.
Records show that the Morongo has employed Wise's company for over a decade, at a current cost of $280,000 a year.
David Quintana, a lobbyist for the California Tribal Business Alliance, which opposes SB 40, said it will be difficult for the tribes to get a fair hearing before the Assembly now that the lower house is employing Morongo's federal lobbyist.
"It really concerns me that the state Assembly decides to hire a firm at which the partner testified on behalf of the Morongo card room deal," Quintana said.
The view from the Pace camp differs, with Wise claiming that the terms of the company's contract with the Morongo preclude any question of a conflict.
"Under our contract, we don't do anything in the state. We only handle federal affairs," Wise said, adding that his testimony before state politicians last month was informational, not lobbying. He told the committee he thought the federal government is likely to approve legislation on Internet gambling.
"That was not an advocacy position whatsoever," Wise said. "It was a status update as to the likelihood of the feds doing something."
A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez said the Assembly's contract with Wise’s company wouldn't prevent it from fairly evaluating intrastate bills on Internet gambling.
"Lobbyists always have multiple clients, and if there's ever a conflict of interest, they can remove themselves from the situation," she pointed out.
Betradar Launches US Sports Betting Solutions -
With only a few weeks to go until the betting and gambling world descends on ICE in London, Betradar have today announced that they will be launching a comprehensive range of tools and services to any company that will be looking to provide sports betting in a post-PASPA United States.
Final 12 For MPNPT Morocco -
Sunday on the MPN Poker Tour Morocco will see several trophies awarded at the Mazagan Beach Resort, with the largest going to the Main Event champion along with a prize of MAD 400,000 (c.€35,400).
MPNPT Morocco Updates -
Leading the 104 combined survivors from both flights is still Said El-Yousfi with 272,000 chips; visit the MPN Poker Tour blog for an end-of-day recap and full chip counts.
MPN Poker Tour Morocco Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has returned to Morocco this week (January 11-14), featuring the MAD 1.5 million guaranteed Main Event, accompanying side events, and the activities and parties for which this tour has now become known on two continents.
2018 MPN Poker Classic -
The MPN announces the return of The Classic tournament series this January. The series is back following its successful €350,000 guaranteed debut in 2017. This time €500,000 is guaranteed, along with a once in a lifetime trip to Monaco for the Classic Champion.
PDC and Sportradar Renew Deal -
Following this month’s hugely successful World Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and long-standing partners Sportradar have renewed their multi-faceted cooperation that will see the leader in sports data and content continuing in their role as official data
Poker Yaar Joins MPN -
Available through download, instant play and mobile, Pokeryaar.com is live with Omaha, Hold’em and Five-Card poker variants, alongside MPN’s Fish Party, the industry’s only progressive jackpot SNGs.
New MPN Poker Rooms Tower Torneos -
Impressed with Microgaming, having already integrated with the Quickfire platform to gain access to some of the industry’s best gaming content, Tower Torneos has extended the relationship with poker.<
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