CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION CONTINUES TO BE CONTESTED
12th March, 2015 at 10:24:57
Opposition predictably expressed on Jones-Sawyer bill.
Disagreement over what form online poker legalisation should take in California continued this week with six tribal gambling groups expressing their opposition to Rep. Reggie Jones-Sawyer's AB167 proposal.
The first group to note their disapproval in a communication with Jones-Sawyer was the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation in San Diego, apparently acting independently.
That was followed by a more powerful protest from a group that included five tribes, the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs; the Barona Band of Mission Indians in Lakeside; the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians near San Francisco; the Pechanga Band of Luiseņo Indians; the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians of Alpine and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation near Sacramento.
The main sticking points in AB167 to which the tribes object appear to be the ommission of "bad actor" and "tainted assets" clauses, opening possibilities for Pokerstars, and allowing the participation of horse racing entities as online poker operators.
The formal letter of opposition did not surprise observers of the Californian online poker legalisation scene; almost immediately following the reintroduction of AB167 to the House this year tribal leaders from some groups voiced negative reactions, and their specific objections have long bedevilled legalisation attempts in past years.
The full text of the rather lengthy correspondence reads:
"Dear Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer:
"The Tribal Governments shown on this letter write to advise you of our united opposition to your Assembly Bill 167 and any legislation that would expand the scope of gaming in California to grant internet poker licenses to horse racing associations or which would ease regulatory standards to accommodate actors whose past behavior and tainted brands and assets would erode the integrity of intrastate internet poker under consideration.
"Our Tribes have worked over the past three years with a broad coalition of California Tribes, in consultation with card clubs, to craft legislation that does not expand the footprint of authorized gaming entities. While AB 167 is intended to legalize internet poker throughout California, it does so by expanding poker to horseracing facilities at the expense of Tribal Nations which have a demonstrated history of responsible gaming. It must be noted that the voters of California have voted on multiple occasions (1998, 2000, 2008) in support of tribal government gaming and have given overwhelming approval to a Constitutional Amendment granting Indian tribal governments exclusive authority over Las Vegas-style casino gaming. By comparison, the voters have rejected expanded gaming at horseracing facilities by an astounding 84%
Related News Tags: Las Vegas, Horseracing, Pokerstars, California