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Indian Tribe Attempting to Bring Interstate Online Poker

Gambling News - August 13th, 2009 - Written by Glen

Current federal laws prohibit offshore Internet gambling, and this is a fact that the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, hailing from California, are attempting to utilize in their efforts to bring online poker to Californians. No legislation currently exists in California to allow Internet poker, which brings the Morongo Band, one of the tribes with more pull and influence within the state, to begin aiding in the concoction of such legislation.

Online poker is a multi-billion dollar industry, and this tribe wants to tap into those resources. California is one of the states that is operating at a larger deficit than others, which is causing California to turn to different options as far as revenue generation goes. Though the Morongo are trying to create this legislation, it is reported that the Schwarzenegger administration does not have a position either way. This is not the first time legislation has been thought up for online poker, though last time the concept was a complete flop.

While some tribes are for the expanded gambling, others are against. The California Tribal Business Alliance, a consortium of several of the wealthier, casino owning tribes, stated that they thought this idea was a bad one, an "ill-conceived" attempt. One of their major concerns was the exclusivity of gambling enterprises and their ownership by the tribes throughout the state.

The Poker Player's Alliance, who is regularly fighting for the legalization and decriminalization of poker, has suggested that they too are wary of this idea. The way the Band has been pushing forth the idea may create create an unfair monopoly for the tribe.

Despite the negative commentary from other interest groups, the proposition of online poker, in California or all of the States, stands to generate millions of dollars in revenue. Poker fans are already playing online, and they number in the millions. Though it is not illegal for one to play online poker, federal laws have begun to make it increasingly difficult. Laws do change, however, and both the Senate and the House have Bills in motion to overturn the UIGEA.

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