Sacramento iGaming Legislative Symposium Backs Online Gaming for California
An iGaming Legislative Symposium held in Sacramento in late February 2014 discussed strategies to legalize regulated online gambling in California in 2014. The conference was held to discuss the best ways to implement such policies in the Golden State, while also debating possible issues which might arise if legalization happens.
Speakers ranged from potential state regulators to sections of the iGaming sector. For instance, the private land-based gaming in the state might have different ideas of how to proceed than the Native American gaming interests, so both of these sectors were represented. The bureaucrats and administrators who work for the state are likely to have different ideas, so these parties had representatives at the iGaming seminar.
Though the move towards legalized gambling in California continues to gain support, each plan put forward calls for different policies. 2014 is a pivotal year for the passage of any laws involving iPoker and online casino gambling in the state, so those attending the conference hoped to find a common agenda–or at least points to agree upon.
California Gambling Control Commission Opinions
Richard Schuetz, the head of the California Gambling Control Commission, spoke at the conference and claimed to have achieved iGaming literacy in the past months. Because several other states have instituted online gambling laws, other regulators have had the opportunity to engage in the trial and error of implementation. Richard Schuetz suggested members of the Sacramento symposium should travel around the country to talk with regulators in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, where policies are in place at the moment.
These state regulators and the gaming companies who themselves have gone into online business each have good and bad experiences, so they could help the Californians choose the best policies for their huge state.
Why iGaming Makes Sense
When it comes to land-based gambling venues, only Nevada has more locations than California. (Only Florida, Washington, Montana, and Oklahoma are anywhere close to 2nd place in the number of gaming venues.) This means few states have embraced legalized gambling the way the most populous state in the USA does. With the large tourism trade coming to the state each year, online and offline gaming has large potential.
Beyond that, interstate gambling compacts could become a major economic force in the next few years. Like the multi-state lottery associations (Mega Millions, Powerball), a multi-state iPoker association could be in the making even now. Two weeks ago, the states of Nevada and Delaware agreed to share player lists. If California joined such a network early, it would be one of the leaders. In fact, having the largest population would give California a large say in association policies, making it a natural leader in the iGaming field.
Lawsuit Tossed out in California
In Coarsegold, California, a judge threw out a lawsuit by a faction of the Council of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians who claimed to have been made the permanent leaders in 2010. Reggie Lewis led this faction of Native American tribesmen, who filed a lawsuit in California claiming they should have control of the Chukchansi Gold Casino, along with 100% of its revenues.
Federal Judge Anthony W. Ishii, the judge in the case, ruled the lawsuit had no merit. Judge Ishii stated in his findings that the “plaintiffs do not represent the Tribe as the recognized government body.”
Local media who cover the affairs of the Chukchansi Indians described Reggie Lewis’s group as “rogue tribal faction”. Several of the duly elected council members where scathing in their remarks on the ongoing legal battles, which are subsidized by tribal money.
Chukchansi Indian Council Comments
Vice Chair and Acting Chairman Tex McDonald said, “It’s a shame the Lewis group continues to waste our people’s money with ridiculous lawsuits that get laughed out of court.”
Council Secretary Lynda Appling added, “Our Tribe has families who need per capita payments, elders who need grocery and housing assistance and children who need money for school. That’s who won today in Court.”
As readers can see, emotions are high among the plaintiffs and defendants in the lawsuit, because the stakes are so high. But the Chukchansi Indian Tribe owns but 1 of the 178 different gambling operations in the State of California. The attendees at the Sacramento iGaming symposium hope they can reach agreement on a platform for furthering iGaming interests throughout the state, as new laws could be enacted this year.
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