The legalization of online gambling inches ever closer this week as a new proposal to legalize card clubs is being driven by the Poker Voters of America.
Last week a letter from the California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA), which represents 109 different Native American tribes in California, was sent out in an effort to block the Morongo Band of Mission Indians from hosting card rooms off of Native American Land. The letter cites that such a thing would violate the native American rights compacts which offer casino gaming exclusively in California.
“It’s a way to head off competition,” said Morongo Spokesman Patrick Dorinson said of legalizing online gambling, “This would be a game for Californians run by Californians. In a state strapped for cash, this will definitely bring in revenue.”
Last year, Congressman Lloyd Levine’s proposed online gambling bill was shot to hell when the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations’ stalling of the bill. However, executive director of Poker Voters of America Melanie Brenner is expressing confidence that the controversy won’t have any effect on the push to legalize online gambling in California. “The tribes are too politically astute to know they can’t say ‘we want the exclusive on this,’ as they would be fighting the card club lobbyists (many of whom also advocate the legislation on intrastate online poker). One of the big steps for PVA was to get the tribes on board with the idea of online poker. To see they have gone from being resistant to saying, ‘this is such a good idea, but we have our idea of how to do it,’ shows that one of our major obstacles has been removed.”
The Morongo’s proposal does not look as though it will be successful as it is only 5 pages long and is up against strong opposition from powerful adversaries.