Legalized Online Poker in California Appears Dead for this Legislative Session

by Lou on August 25, 2009

California’s state senate will not vote on a bill offering online intrastate poker until the next legislative session.

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which operates one of the largest tribal casinos in California working together with California card clubs, offered a bill that would allow online poker within the confines of California, but the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians—along with the California Tribal Business Alliance—opposed it. The opposition claims it would disrupt the state’s tribal gambling compacts.

In a recent survey of 802 randomly selected registered voters conducted by EMC Research for the Pechanga tribe reported that 82 percent of the voters believe the state needs to look for new and But the poll also found that voters did not support legalization of Internet poker as a means to accomplish this goal.
In the EMC survey, 44 percent of those responding “strongly opposed” state legalization of Internet poker while 17 percent “somewhat opposed” it.
Fourteen percent “strongly supported” and 24 percent “somewhat supported” legalized online poker in California.
Many tribes, particularly those in the Palm Springs area, which are located in close proximity to the Morongo Casino, remained neutral in their opinions of legalized Internet poker.
A majority of members of the California Indian Nations Gaming Association (CNIGA)—an association of 36 tribes, including Morongo—voted in favor of a resolution “To support the concept in principle of a joint venture enterprise between California tribes and licensed card rooms to offer online intrastate internet poker and to proceed with further analysis.”

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