Wednesday June 4,2014 : CALIFORNIA TRIBAL ALLIANCE AGREES ON INTERNET POKER BILL (Update)
Pechanga and San Manuel's 13 tribal groups communicate with state lawmakers.
Predictions last week that the 13 California tribes encompassed by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians have reached agreement on an intrastate online poker bill were confirmed Tuesday when the tribes communicated with Sen. Lou Correa and Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer.
Our readers will recall that the two politicians have submitted online poker legalization proposals to the state Legislature.
The communication from the tribes advises that consensus on what the content of an acceptable bill should be has been reached, principally that licensing should be restricted to currently licensed land casino operators in the state, with a "bad actor" provision regarding any companies who facilitated online gambling post-UIGEA.
That would effectively exclude the elephant in the room – Pokerstars – and will certainly be confronted by the major state cardrooms and the Morongo tribal group, which have entered into an alliance with Pokerstars.
The tribes' communication to lawmakers Tuesday noted:
“In achieving consensus for Internet poker, we reaffirm our commitment to the longstanding principle of limited gaming that has guided California’s public policy toward gaming.
"As importantly, we recommit ourselves to realizing legalization that protects children and the vulnerable, creates jobs for Californians, provides additional revenues for state services, and safeguards consumers and the vulnerable from dishonest and unsuitable operators.”
The Cardroom – Morongo – Pokerstars coalition immediately responded with a statement which asserted:
“Efforts by a select few interests to rewrite longstanding and effective policy in order to gain a competitive market advantage or to lock out specific companies is not in the best interests of consumers or the state and will be vigorously opposed by our coalition, online poker players and many others.”
The coalition believes that deciding on who to licence is a professional task best suited to the state regulator as an independent and experienced entity.