Tribal Casino Operators Give Up on Intrastate Online Poker
California has been a leader in the push to sidestep ridiculous federal legislation and legalize intrastate online poker, only to find an assortment of gaming interests joining with gambling opponents to resist the idea. It seemed a breakthrough when the Morongo Band of Mission Indians threw the powerful support of their tribal casino operation behind the poker bill, potentially removing the Native American gaming interests from the opposing camp.
But Tuesday, the Morongo Band said it was suspending efforts to craft a bill allowing intrastate online poker to be forged from a coalition of tribal casino operators and poker room companies. A Spokesman for the tribe acknowledged pressure from other tribes caused the decision.
“Some concerns have been raised, and we want to make sure we address those concerns so this can benefit everyone,” said tribal representative Patrick Dorinson.
Some tribes had voiced concerns that hosting online poker may inadvertently affect the legal status of the tribes' gaming compacts and current gambling operations.
A spokesman for card rooms said the issue would be revisited after careful examination of the legal implications, and promised the online poker cause would return next legislative session.
Officials from other gambling venues were perturbed by the apparent legislative position that either the tribes or card rooms should necessarily be involved in running online poker sites, saying that such industries as the horse-racing business are well-suited to perform such operations.
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