CALIFORNIA TRIBES DISCUSS ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION
Saturday February 13,2016 : CALIFORNIA TRIBES DISCUSS ONLINE POKER LEGALISATION (Update)
But not all tribes are fully on board with some provisions.
California's Assemblyman Adam Gray continued to attempt to build consensus among the state's powerful tribes this week on his proposal to legalise online poker, reportedly holding discussions in Sacramento last Thursday at which some tribes agreed in principle that any legalization moves should be limited to licensing only tribes and cardrooms, and to paying a subsidy to the racing business to keep it out of the market.
However, not all tribes are fully on board, and firm pledges of support for Gray's legalization bill have apparently not yet been given.
A coalition of tribes led by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians expressed doubts on the economic provisions of the Gray bill, which calls for a $15 million license fee, 15 percent tax and a $57 million subsidy to the racing industry.
And the coalition remains adamant that a "bad actor" clause excluding some potentially powerful competition (Pokerstars) from the market should be a part of the legalization.
Sources at the meeting suggested that the Pokerstars, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, the San Manuel and Morongo Indian bands and three major state cardrooms alliance is unlikely to support any bad actor provisions, but agreed not to oppose Gray's draft bill at this point in the interest of getting it through a February 19 legislative deadline.
Another source said that little was achieved at the meeting other than an acknowledgment that the racetracks needed to be kept out of any legalised online poker market, and a general feeling that the economics of the draft bill are questionable.
The draft bill is likely to be further debated soon in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.