Many Californians cite the state’s powerful Indian tribes’ desire to exclude horse racing interests as the main hindrance to advancing online poker legislation.
Failure to find common ground on the issue has repeatedly left California on the rail as Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey take the lead in the regulation of online poker and gambling. The entire country continues to hold out hope that the California tribes, cardrooms and racetracks eventually can work out an agreement that lawmakers can approve to allow residents of the nation’s most populous state to play online poker.
Indications are that progress may be advancing, which led Poker Players Alliance honcho John Pappas to remark in an interview not long ago that he expects some movement on the issue in 2014. Some of that movement will commence on February 27, 2014 when an iGaming Legislative Symposium will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel in Sacramento, California.
Possible solutions to the current legislative deadlock will be discussed by gaming regulators, state lawmakers, globally-recognized online gambling experts, and gaming operators from both commercial and tribal concerns. Hosted by the Spectrum Gaming Group and Pechanga.net, the symposium may be followed by other similar pow-wows, as the press release announcing the get-together is calling next February’s affair an inaugural event.
With a population of about 38 million, California has an opportunity to positively influence online poker and gambling regulations in other states. Thus far, that influence has been negative, with repeated attempts by lawmakers to advance legislation becoming stymied by bickering among the state’s gambling interests.
Rumors are circulating that those interests may have a strong desire for that bickering to end, as they realize that several billion dollars are being lost annually by the failure to reach a compromise. Whether 2014 is the year that a solution is found remains to be seen. But the symposium seems a vital step in the right direction.
Pechanga.net is the top Internet news source regarding tribal gaming. Spectrum Gaming is a worldwide gambling research and service firm that has twice been called on to testify before members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Both teamed up earlier this year to host a tribal conference entitled “Indian Country Online: The 2013 Congress” at the Pechanga Resort and Casino in Temecula, California.
That conference shed light on a number of issues germane to the concerns of native tribes. The agenda of next year’s symposium appears to be much broader than that discussed at the June tribal conference.
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