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California Tribes Agree On Web Poker Bill

13 Groups Said They Support Proposal To Legalize

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On Tuesday, 13 tribal groups in the state of California announced that they have come to a consensus on Internet poker legislation. It was a major milestone for the cause.

The announcement came in the form of a letter to lawmakers.

“We are honored to inform you and your colleagues that for the first time in five years, the undersigned tribal governments are united in support of the attached unified language that would authorize intrastate Internet poker in the State of California,” the tribes wrote. “As you know, this journey has been long and difficult, but the challenges posed by the Internet demand that we harness rather than cede the technology of the future for California and for our tribal communities.”

Despite the good news, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, which has partnered with PokerStars for a potential product in the Golden State, wasn’t one of the groups to come to an agreement about the ideas currently floating around the legislature.

The 13 groups are in favor of what is known as a “bad actor” clause, which would keep PokerStars out of the market. Obviously, PokerStars and its partner don’t want that.

PokerStars was targeted by the federal government in 2011 in an event known as Black Friday, but the firm eventually ended up settling with the government without admitting to any wrongdoing. The firm is still by far the largest of its kind in the world.

Most in the gambling industry have predicted that California will be the fourth state in the country to legalize web poker. Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey are the only jurisdictions with operational web poker systems.

Some have predicted that California will not have legal web poker in 2014 thanks to this year being an election year. Another roadblock to something happening this year is the fact that billionaire Sheldon Adelson is funding lobbying against online poker.