California Tribes Work Together on Poker Bill
It appears that California will join the list of U.S. states to open up another online poker market. The profitability of online poker in New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada is reduced because of the population, particularly in Delaware and Nevada. These states have tried to resolve these issues by allowing intrastate play.
However, California has a massive population of 38.04 million but it has faced different challenges. One of these challenges includes ongoing disagreement between the casino-operating Native American tribes in the state. Now, several major tribes have agreed on a poker bill with the exception of one tribe, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. This influential Native American tribe has teamed up with PokerStars.
A Poker Bill in the Works
Thirteen of the tribes in California sent a letter to their representatives and stated that they have reached an agreement in terms of an online poker framework. The tribes include Cachil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, Barona Band of Mission Indians, Pala Band of Mission Indians, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians, the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the United Auburn Indian Community. The letter stated that they were happy to inform the representatives that for the very first time in 5 years, the tribal governments are in agreement with the language of the intrastate online poker bill in California.
Backlash from PokerStars
PokerStars, along with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians say that they will oppose this poker legislation. The Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars, quickly addressed the issues they have with the bill and made sure their position was made clear. In short, Rational states that they want to change the requirements that are needed to get licenses.
Officially, Rational says that their position is to allow thoroughly regulated websites that are owned by trustworthy gaming partners to get online poker licenses. As one would expect, the Morongo Tribe has also stated they have a similar position. In addition, Rational says that the ‘bad actor’ clause that was put into the bill was just an attempt to promote unfair competition by pleasing certain interest groups. Lastly, the group and its partners believes that the requirements should be decided by state regulators and they will continue to work towards legislation that promotes fair competition.
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