With states moving fast towards their own online poker industries, Native American tribes aren’t ready to be left behind in the race.
In the past few weeks, there have been a number of indications that Native American tribes in the United States are keen to move forward and establish their own network of online poker and gambling sites that will compete directly with the industries being set up by individual states. Just as states such as Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey are currently licensing operators and setting up licensed and regulated online gambling industries in a bid to eventually band together and create bigger poker pools for their customers, so too are Native American tribes mulling a similar idea.
The US online gambling industry has the potential to be worth up to $7.5 billion by 2018, and the Native American tribes will be doing all they can to grab a substantial chunk of the pie.
Developing Internet Gambling Coalitions
At the recent National Indian Gaming Association, one of the key topics of discussion was how tribes will fit into the growing online gambling industry in the United States, especially with such significant progress seen the on state front. The general sentiment is that if states are making their own legislation pertaining to online gambling due to lack of progress from the federal government, Native American tribes should be doing the same.
One member, who chose to remain anonymous, told media sources that tribal operators were starting to witness more force behind the idea of developing internet coalitions with other tribes.
Also speaking about the trend was Jacob Coin who serves as the director of public affairs for the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians. Coin said that it was a positive development as tribes were beginning to
embrace the technology and potential of internet commerce.
Behind the scenes, a number of tribes are taking practical measures to set up their own online gambling frameworks. Bally Technologies recently partnered with Washington area’s Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to offer free-to-play internet gaming to customers at tribal gambling locations.