California American Indian Tribes Could Ease Opposition of PokerStars

PokerStarsOnline poker legislation does not seem to be going anywhere in the state of California. With opposition to race tracks taking part as well as PokerStars involvement in the industry, certain aspects have prevented any legislation introduced within the state from moving forward. However, just last week, a coalition of Indian tribes within the state of California met and are now considering lowering their opposition to PokerStars entering the market and focusing on keeping only race tracks from offering online poker gaming.

According to a report by OnlinePokerReport, leaders of several tribes came together in San Diego last week to focus on tribal unity and include card rooms and PokerStars in the mix. The feeling is that with the tribes coming together and including PokerStars, they will be able to move forward with online poker legislation that will exclude race tracks from offering such gaming.

It was during the National Indian Gaming Association Convention that mention was made of cooperation between most of the parties involved. Seven Indian tribes, spearheaded by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, are suggested everyone work together to get the ball rolling with online poker. The only aspect that remains would be race tracks. The Pechanga tribe does not want to allow race tracks to offer such gaming, stating if tracks are allowed to offer iPoker, it would be an unnecessary expansion of legalized gambling within California.

The tribe is willing to soften the bad actor portions of legislation as well as the tainted assets portion to the online poker bill already proposed within the state. The new chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Cody Martinez, requested the meeting with tribal groups to try and begin a movement of unity within the tribes that is considered a necessity to see an online poker bill move forward within the state.

The chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Robert Martin, stated that that idea created by the Sycuan and Pechanga tribes is for the tribes to come together with PokerStars and overcome opposition from the tracks. Martin stated he is unsure but feels it might work if all the tribes were united.

PokerStars is already in a partnership with the Morongo and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians as well as with three poker card rooms to try and offer online poker gaming within the state. This particular partnership is not opposed to race tracks being involved in the industry. Other tribal groups have been in support of track licensing but not in agreement with PokerStars or other groups based on bad actor and tainted asset provisions in the legislation proposed.

Despite the desire to see the tribes come together, there are still different ideas as to how the industry should take place within the state. Some believes tracks should be allowed to offer gaming while others want the tracks to be left out. Many feel that if the tribes work together with PokerStars, the race track industry would be forced to take a revenue share rather than licensing to be able to see any profit from such gaming.

Discussions were had during the meeting but nothing was decided upon rather than to continue discussing the matter. For now, it seems the tribes must work on an agreement with the race tracks within the state. Once this can happen, legislation should be able to move forward as the two major stumbling blocks will have been eliminated. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming weeks and if online poker will finally be legalized sometime this year within the state of California.