United California Indian Gaming Front Could See PokerStars In, But Racetracks Shunned, in Online Poker Scramble

April 6th, 2015 | by Jason Reynolds

All of this camaraderie has not always been the case, as anyone who follows the California online poker wars knows.

While PokerStars did join hands with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, as well as the Morongo tribe, awhile back, along with several state card rooms, other tribes had remained stalwart in their opposition to not only PokerStars, but the parimutuel horse racing industry, entering the online gaming market in California.

For example, the Pechanga tribe had previously voiced their concerns over race tracks entree, and had also been strongly opposed to PokerStars, noting their support of “bad actor” language in any proposed bill.

Tracking Online Poker’s Progress

At issue has always been which vision will dictate how online poker and gaming in general will be dispensed in California.  Racetracks jumped on the bandwagon initially with the concept that they are solely experienced at this point in time with offering online gambling in any form via their Off Track Betting (OTB) functions.

Indian tribes conversely feel that online poker should only be the purview of themselves and any of the state’s already licensed and regulated cardrooms. To do otherwise, in their view, would be a direct violation of the state’s gaming compacts with said tribes.

Thus, the soldiering up as a unified front among the tribal coalition. Adding an interesting angle to the back-and-forth volleys is the reality that California Governor Jerry Brown has publicly stated his allegiance and support of the race tracks being included in any legislation in this regard, as have other state lawmakers.


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