California Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced the newest effort to regulate and legalize online poker in the state on Friday, February 19. The assembly bill (AB) 2863 was quickly met with support by California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) Chairman Steve Stallings.
The key differential from past bills: California’s horse racetracks would be excluded from operating in the poker industry, and in exchange would receive up 95 percent of the first $60 million collected with the other 5 percent going to the State Treasury.
Stallings issued the following statement in response:
“CNIGA was established to promote, protect and preserve the interests of Indian tribes with respect to the conduct of gaming activities. For more than 28 years, CNIGA has focused on Indian casino issues.
“However, as technology changed, so did the demographics of today’s gaming patron. Many don’t want to just sit in front of a slot machine or at a card table. They want a different experience that meets their lifestyles.
“That is why CNIGA issued a set of Internet gaming principles to meet the changing times. The principles include establishing consumer safeguards, protecting children and preserving Tribal sovereignty.
“It appears that Assemblyman Gray’s AB 2863 meets those stated principles and we are supportive of Assemblyman Adam Gray’s efforts to allow gaming Tribes the option to adapt to the changing technology.
“CNIGA looks forward to working with the Legislature to ensure meaningful legislation is passed.”
The California Nations Indian Gaming Association is a non-profit association comprised of federally recognized tribal governments dedicated to the protection of tribal sovereignty and the right of tribes to have gaming on Indian lands. Tribal government gaming operations in California generate an estimated $8 billion in economic output, of which $2.9 billion represents earnings by California workers, and support over 56,000 jobs statewide. For more information about the economic impact of California’s tribal casinos visit www.cniga.com and click on the link at the bottom of the page.