Congressman Barney Frank will perhaps be heartened by the news that his latest carefully planned and timed attempt to legalise online gambling in the United States has the opposition worried.
One of those who feels threatened by Frank's HR 2267 is the chairman of a major tribal gaming organisation in California, who recently characterised Frank’s legislative proposals to legalise and regulate online gambling in the USA as “...the greatest threat to Indian gaming in 20 years.”
Daniel Tucker of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (a non-profit association comprised of federally recognised tribal governments) seems intent on gathering support for attempts to halt the Frank legislative juggernaut.
Last week Tucker invited tribal leaders to the 15th California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) Western Indian Gaming Conference at Palm Springs, California, writing:
“The recent drive by members of Congress to legalise internet casino gambling nationwide represents the greatest threat to Indian gaming in the last 20 years.
"I sought the chairmanship of CNIGA because it is my intention to lead the fight against this outrageous and unjust proposal by Congressman Barney Frank.”
Tucker, who is also chairman of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, wrote that attendance at he conference was important in order that tribal gambling leaders be informed of what he termed "..the threat of Congressional legislation that will transfer billions of dollars from Indian Reservations to foreign offshore internet casinos.”
Tribal leaders clearly feel threatened by the possibility of more competition - InfoPowa readers will recall the statement to a Frank Congressional hearing recently in which Robert Martin, chairman of the Morongo gaming tribe of California spoke against HR2267, only to be reminded by the House Financial Services Committee chairman that not long before he had been trying to negotiate an exclusive online poker legalisation deal in concert with certain Californian poker operators.
The Desert Sun newspaper out of Palm Springs reports that of all the CNIGA sessions, the panel that is expected to be most heavily attended is on Internet poker, and how the initiative launched in 2009 by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and California card rooms would affect tribal governments.
Susan Jensen, director of CNIGA communications, said the Internet gaming panel is one reason conference preregistration has been so strong.
The newspaper reports that there has been speculation that the California state Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization could set an informational hearing on the topic as early as this (January 2010) month.
"Assemblyman Joe Coto, a San Jose Democrat who chairs the organization committee, is expected to be among lawmakers attending the conference," she said.
Moderated by Michael Lombardi, executive director of the Augustine Gaming Commission, the Internet poker panel is expected to include Eric Ramos, CNIGA legislative committee chair; Robert Martin, chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians; lawyer George Forman; and Matt Franklin, chair of the Ione Band of Miwok Indians.
Primary sponsors include the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, The PENTA Building Group and Aristocrat Technologies.
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