Sunday May 10,2015 : UNIONS COULD INFLUENCE ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION IN CALIFORNIA
Powerful SEIU is unhappy with tribal moves to keep the race tracks out of the market.
This week saw the emergence of a powerful new element in the debate on internet poker legalization in California – the Teamsters and Service Employee International Union (SEIU), a trade union representing the interests of some 50,000 workers in the horse racing industry.
Union representative Barry Broad told the publication Online Poker Report this week that attempts by certain tribes to exclude the race tracks from any legalised online poker industry would be opposed by the unions.
The tribes seeking to keep the race tracks out include the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, and could find themselves in a tough fight if the unions get involved…and Broad made that clear in his interview with OPR.
The tribes seeking race track exclusion have suggested that tribal alliances could keep the tracks out, but Broad suggests that if unions, tracks and coalitions like the Pokerstars-Cardrooms-Tribal groups and the Pala, Rincon and Auburn tribal interests were to join forces such a move would be defeated.
“It would be very hard to move a bill out with a two-thirds vote that doesn’t include the tracks,” Broad said. “They’re not going to get a two-thirds vote. They’re not. These are some very big unions.”
“There are only a few tribes that are opposed to the tracks,” Broad emphasised, characterising the gambling enterprises operated by the Pechanga, Agua Caliente and Viejas as "medium sized" and lacking significant political clout.
“I think maybe their true motivation is they don’t want to see anything passed,” Broad said.