Supporters of Online Poker Legislation in California

Online Poker CA SupportersOnline Poker California in-house experts have combed the landscape to find all those organisations, tribes and key players in support of online poker legislation in California. In fact, there are many supporters of regulated online poker gaming in the state of California, notably the California Online Poker Association (COPA). This coalition is a powerful alliance of commercial card rooms and Indian tribes that have all agreed on Senate Bill 40. This urgency bill will make it possible for California to generate an estimated $1.4 billion in additional revenue by legalising online poker in California. This bill has been championed by Sen Lou Correa of the 34th district. According to the terms of this bill, there is urgency required to prevent California from losing valuable revenue by regulating online poker as soon as possible. The California Online Poker Association is comprised of 31 card rooms in 29 Indian tribes. Two of the most powerful tribes in COPA include the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians. The Morongo Band of Indians operates the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa. In fact, so diverse is this coalition, that there are 27 other Indian tribes signed on as COPA members. The vast majority of these tribes operate land-based casinos across California, and they would be ideally suited to run online poker rooms in the event that legislation is passed.

Full Listing of Indian Tribes Supporting Online Poker California Legislation:

In addition to the aforementioned Native American tribes, there are scores of online poker rooms supporting SB 40. These include, but are not limited to major online poker rooms such as Hawaiian Gardens, the Bicycle Club, Ocean’s 11 and Hollywood Park. The biggest online poker room – Commerce Casino – is also a proponent of the bill. In the event that SB 40 is passed into law, all of the aforementioned tribes and poker rooms would be capable of establishing poker sites for players in California. Other notable poker rooms supporting online poker California legislation include Crystal Casino and Hotel, Diamond Jim’s Casino, Lake Elsinore Hotel and Casino, Napa Valley Casino, Lucky Chances, Normandie Casino, Player’s Poker Club, Village Club, Lucky Derby Casino, Mike’s Card Casino, Marina Club, Phoenix Casino & Lounge Inc, Empire Sportsman’s Association, Comstock Card Room, Village Club, Casino Royale, Livermore Casino and scores of others. Bill SB 40 has managed to capture support from the CGA (California Gaming Association) which has the support of 75% of all licenced card rooms in the state of California. Their support does not extend to the SB 45 bill which makes provisions for a bidding process to online casinos and online poker rooms operating from outside of California. The aforementioned Indian tribes are vehemently opposed to any bill that allows for expanding online gaming beyond online poker.

Update from California Tribal Coalition

An important announcement was recently made regarding multiple tribal governments that have come together to authorise intrastate Internet poker in California. The process of coming to consensus among all the vested interests and the tribal authorities has been a painstaking one. While the details have not been ironed out just yet, the draft bill makes provision for the following:

  • The minimum age to play online poker is 21
  • The bad actors clause should apply to those who were operating in the US market from 1 January 2007 onwards
  • The provision of online poker services by unregulated operators is a misdemeanour
  • Licences will be granted for a period of 10 years, with automatic renewals thereafter
  • Taxation will be collected from the $5 million deposit paid by licensees
  • 5% gross gaming revenue fee is to be implemented and only 2 skins per license are permitted
  • all operators are required to legally be domiciled in California

Some 13 tribes signed onto this letter and the bill. A notable exception to the list of signatories includes the Morongo, Hawaiian Gardens, Commerce and Bike Tribes. These Indian tribes are looking to partner with PokerStars. Since the bill makes mention of the bad actor clause, these four major tribes were not willing to sign on to it. CLICK HERE to view the signed support letter