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California Seeing Online Poker Showdown

17 August 2011 by admin

GreedWe at love to follow the legislative process when it comes to gambling bills. It seems that whenever someone comes out with an opinion on gambling, it’s simply for their own benefit. When it comes to politicians, it’s often to benefit their campaign donors.

Sure, there are people who honestly oppose gambling for moral or religious reasons. There are people who honestly support gambling for the cause of freedom. More often than not, though, people are looking after their own interests. Harry Reid strongly opposed any form of online gambling while the Vegas casino industry opposed it. When he was running for reelection in 2010, though, some of those powerful casinos changed their mind and decided they wanted to get in on the industry. Reid then suddenly wanted to sponsor an online poker bill.

Jon Kyl opposed all online gambling, even helping pass UIGEA, but when states started drafting bills to regulate it at the intrastate level, he sent a letter (with Reid) asking the Justice Department to stop states from enacting their own legislation. Why should they do that? Because it could interfere with federal regulation of online poker, which he suddenly supported.

And that brings us to the current situation in California. As we reported earlier, the California online poker bill is pitting tribe against tribe. The California Online Poker Association recently launched campaign ads calling for an approval of the bill. The ads say that it will help the state avoid deep budget cuts. Among the association are the operators of some of the state’s tribal casinos, including the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

However, other tribes have joined the California Tribal Business Alliance in opposing the bill. So why are some tribes convinced that the bill is great for California while others are convinced that it would be terrible? Those who support the bill want in on the online poker money. Those who oppose it are worried about the money that online poker takes away from the brick and mortar casinos. Both are looking at their own interests, but they have different ideas of how best to do that.

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