02/08/2012 : MORE U.S. DISCUSSION ON INTERNET GAMBLING DUE THIS WEEK
 
Senate Committee hearing will hear a wide range of opinion on Indian interests and online gaming Thursday
 
Interest in online gambling in the United States is set to continue on Thursday this week when the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs meets to hear the views of a wide cross section of interested parties on the possible impact of legalised internet gambling on tribal gaming.
 
The hearing, titled “Oversight Hearing on the U.S. Department of Justice Opinion on Internet Gaming: What’s at Stake for Tribes,” has been triggered by the remarkable about-turn on what the Department of Justice considers to be online gambling in terms of the Wire Act. The new policy has unleashed a flurry of speculation on opportunities and disadvantages across America.
 
It follows an earlier hearing titled “The Future of Internet Gaming: What’s at Stake for Tribes” which took place hearing took place last November  and examined how federal legalization of online poker and gambling might impact tribal interests.
 
Three sets of witnesses will be heard Thursday: the Hon. Robert Odawi Porter, president of the Seneca nation is up first. He will be followed in a second panel by Kevin K. Washburn, Dean of the School of Law Administration at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; I. Nelson Rose, gaming legal expert and Senior Professor at Whittier Law School in Encino, CA; and Alex Skibine, Professor, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.
 
The third panel consists of Patrick Fleming, Litigation Support Director for the Poker Players Alliance, Washington, DC, and Glenn Feldman, an Attorney with the firm of Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander in Phoenix, AZ.
 
Evidence is likely to reflect the widely divergent opinions of different tribes, some of whom support online gambling whilst others fear it will cannibalise their land gambling business. Previous witnesses have weighed an internet gambling industry producing revenues of around $41 billion over a decade against Indian land gaming revenues projected over the same period at $256 billion.
 
Competitive ventures involving the tribes have been especially noticeable in California, where an intrastate legalization initiative has sparked two separate bills supported by differing alliances.