The California Senate continues to debate the pros and cons of passing a bill to decriminalize and regulate online poker. Despite the benefits regulation may bring to the state, Native American tribes insist that the state consider the impact such legislation will have on their communities as well.
Overall, these tribes are not concerned with legalizing online poker. Rather, they are concerned that legislation’s will be implemented irresponsibly. The tribes assert that if lawmakers decide to legalize online poker, then they should develop a long-term plan.
Last December, the Senate attempted to pass Senate Bill 40. This bill was setup to establish a framework to legalize intrastate gambling. The California Tribal Business Alliance was opposed to that bill, because the Senate didn’t consider the impacts legalizing online poker will have on tribal economies. The group urges the Senate to consider the impacts any such legislation will have on Native American tribes.
The CBTA requests that Congress consult with it before passing any bill that will have a dramatic impact on the future of online gambling or existing land-based casinos.
The CBTA referenced a recent poll that showed most Californian’s support the idea of legalizing online poker. However, the CBTA pointed out a few concerns many of the polltakers were not aware of. First of all, the poll didn’t ask the participants for their feedback on the steps Congress should take to protect the sovereignty and economy of Native American tribes. Also, the respondents were not aware of the fact that legislation would most likely create a monopoly for the California Online Poker Association.
The CBTA states that it fully understands the importance of helping the state generate new revenues and looking after the interests of California citizens. However, it also insists new legislation be fair to the Native America people as well. Elements of an ideal Internet gaming bill would include ensuring revisions to online gambling bills be limited to online poker and protecting Native American’s rights to generate gambling rev