Two influential American Indian tribes are publicly asking a politically powerful tribal coalition to ease its opposition to extending eligibility for online poker website licenses to California race tracks, but skepticism remains that a bill will make it out of the legislature this year.
Council member Laurie E. Gonzalez of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians in a May 20 press release urged that tribes reach consensus on online poker legislation “rather than digging their heels into the ground,” an obvious reference to steadfast opposition against licensing race tracks by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and six other coalition tribes.
Chair Lynn Valbuena of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, in a Thursday keynote to a Capitol Weekly gambling conference, also called for tribes to reach consensus, saying her tribe had “an open mind” about licensing race tracks.
“We’re evaluating all of our options right now, with the race tracks,” Valbuena said.
“As we all know there are tribes who are opposed to having the tracks in. We have an open mind. We’re still discussing those issues and looking at every option available.”