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California Tribes Oppose Online Gambling Bill as Hearing Draws Near

June 24, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – Next Tuesday, June 29, the California state Senate Governmental Organization Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Senator Rod Wright’s intrastate Internet poker legislation, Senate Bill 1485.

“The online poker legislation has been given what is known as special order of business status, meaning that the hearing time has to be set for 3.30 pm,” according to “This gives it a head start in front of other pending measures – 20 in all – that are to be heard on Tuesday.”

But as this date nears, the state’s powerful tribes are mobilizing to oppose the bill.

The Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN), a formal group of 11 federally recognized Indian tribes, has stated that it’s formally opposed to the legislation.

“We’ve always supported the concept of intrastate poker in California because of consumer protections, revenue to the state and the fact it would bring the game out of the shadows,” said Patrick Dorinson, a spokesman for Morongo, according to the Desert Sun. “But we cannot support the bill in its present form.”

The argument: That, by allowing offshore business interests to bid on the proposed Internet poker operating hubs, the bill would “take money out of the state” — and, of course, out of the tribes’ hands.

“in its present form, is so broad that even the tribe that worked to advance online gaming legislation for Californians — the Morongo Band of Mission Indians — signed TASIN’s letter to Wright, the state Legislature, tribal governments and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger,” according to the Sun article.