August 19, 2010 (CAP News Wire) – As the deadline approaches for any new legislation to pass in California, a group of casino powers-that-be — pretty much the same group behind last year’s failed online gambling legal drive — have banded together in an effort to get an online gambling / Internet poker bill passed in the Golden State.
“With less than two weeks for any bill to pass in the state Legislature, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians on Wednesday met in Sacramento with California tribal leaders to muster forces to legalize Internet gaming for California,” reports the Desert Sun.
“Given a midnight Wednesday deadline to commit, Morongo spokesman Patrick Dorinson said 21 tribes signed or sent in documents to join the California Online Poker Association — a move giving each tribe standing in the Tribal LLC for Internet Gaming.”
This new agreement is being heralded as a pretty big deal, especially considering that, since last year’s failed effort, there’s been very little agreement among California’s key tribes about legalizing online gambling in the states. (These groups were very much against Senator Rod Wright’s efforts to legalize online gambling in the state earlier thsi year.) So, as efforts to legalize online gambling on a federal level move ahead, it becomes more important for these groups to beat the larger U.S. government to the punch, if they want to retain any control over Internet gambling’s huge profits.
“We have 21 tribes at this point,” Patrick Dorinson, spokesman for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, told Capitol Weekly. “We anticipate by the end of the day we will have quite a few more. … We have some tribes with some substantial gaming in the state.”
The move hopes to build on efforts by Los Angeles area Senator Rod Wright, whose Internet poker bill stalled earlier this year. “On June 29, he cancelled a hearing of the bill in front of his own Committee. It hasn’t moved since.”