Calif. Committee Passes I-Poker Bill

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Yesterday, the California Assembly Appropriations Committee passed a statewide, online poker legalization and regulation bill. It now moves on to a full vote on the Assembly floor.

California Representative Adam Gray’s AB 2863 was given the green light despite intense opposition from a group of a half-dozen tribal nations led by the Pechanga Band and Agua Caliente tribes, as well as persistent protests from the Sheldon Adelson-funded Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, reported flushdraw.net.

The Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, the United Auburn Indian Community, the Pala Band of Mission Indians, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation spoke in favor of the committee vote. A Poker Players Alliance chart highlights more than 35 groups that support Gray’s bill, ranging from tribal casinos to independent cardrooms and labor and service organizations.

Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians Chairman Bo Mazzetti issued an official statement yeseterday applauding the Assembly Appropriations Committee for passing the Internet poker bill. "On behalf of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, I applaud the Assembly Appropriations Committee for passing Assembly Bill 2863 and moving the bill to the Assembly Floor. We thank the Assembly Leadership and Assemblyman Gray for their leadership on this issue.

"Assemblyman Gray brought together an unprecedented group of Tribal governments, cardrooms, horse racing industry and labor groups to support Internet poker legislation.

"AB 2863 establishes a safe and secure environment for Californians to use today’s technology to play poker. The bill establishes a tiered tax rate that lets the state receive its fair share of revenue and adjust the rate to ensure that the industry can develop and grow.

"We look forward to the Assembly Floor vote in the coming days and the very real possibility of an Internet poker bill passing this year."

The 500-plus-member Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians governs a 6,000-acre reservation in Valley Center. The Rincon Band owns Harrah’s Resort Southern California and uses profits to provide essential member services while contributing to the North San Diego County economy through job creation, purchase of local products and services, and tax generation. In addition, the tribe's annual community donations to regional non-profits support quality of life programs.