Tribal Issues with California Online Poker

california pokerAs members of the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee debated and voted (May 28th) on AB 431, one of several California online-poker bills currently being considered, news surfaced that the hardline “Cali 7″ coalition which has roadblocked the process in recent years has retracted its neutrality on the shell bill.

AB 431, only the second online-poker bill ever to advance from California’s requisite “GO Committee” initial hearing process, faces difficult sledding in the face of the renewed opposition.  That opposition came in the form of a return to a “no” position on the bill from the hardline tribal group, which is led by the Pechanga and Agua Caliente tribal nations.

Chris Krafcik at Gambling Compliance was the first of several media sources to obtain and publish the text of two letters sent by separate and contrasting groups regarding the Appropriations Committee’s consideration of AB 431.  The hardline group’s letter to Appropriations Chairman Jimmy Gomez included this core text HERE.

The bill was signed by all of the Cali 7 tribes — the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, the Barona Band of Mission Indians, the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.  Two other California tribes joined as signatories to this letter, the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake and the Table Mountain Rancheria.

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