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Conclusion of Online Poker Hearing

Written By: PokerNet.com | February 14, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

A few days ago the United States Senate Committee on Indian (Native American) Affairs held a continuation of its internet gambling, with focus on the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) opinion and interpretation on the 1961 Wire Act. It was declared that the act would only apply to sports wagering and therefore not impact areas such as online poker, which has sparked interest from Indian tribes looking to expand their gambling empires.

Entitled “Oversight Hearing on the U.S. Department of Justice Opinion on Internet Gaming: What’s at Stake for Tribes,” the Senate debated began half an hour later than scheduled and concluded one and a half hours later. Nelson Rose, Senior Professor at Whittier Law School and gambling export stated that the DoJ’s clarification of the Wire Act allows for internet gambling and also the implementation of intrastate and interstate operations on the basis of the internet gambling.

There is no Federal statute that would prevent a state from legalizing virtually any form of internet gambling other than sports betting,Rose testified in the hearing.States can legalize it, they can form compacts via interstate and even international to form pools of players.

Despite the hearing agenda, there has been no clarification made on whether or not wagers and bets from gamblers located off of tribal gaming land or reservations to be received by the Indian tribes. The reach of online poker extends farther than Indian Tribes and creates an issue on how tribes can regulate outside their range of control, where they operate on tribe owned land.

For many Indian tribes that have state compacts, internet gambling would be legal under these compacts, said S.J. Quinney College of Law professor Alex Skibine. “However, for other tribes, that may not be the case. Those tribes would have a very hard time amending their compacts… Even for those tribes for whom it is legal, they may be restricted to wagering originating on Indian land. This limitation makes no sense when it comes to internet gaming since internet gaming is borderless.

Through the legalization of online poker is the enormous revenue expected. Indian tribes as a result want to further benefit from the legalization by becoming involved in gaining this revenue.

In recent years, big gaming and state regulatory interests in Nevada and New Jersey have pushed for Federal legislation that would give them monopolistic control of internet gaming in the USA,Seneca Nation of Indians President Robert Odawi Porter testified. They are determined to shove Indian gaming away from the table. Indian nations not only demand a seat at the table, we insist we already own a table and should not have it stolen from us.

Senate has concluded its discussions but no official statement has been made as to any further progression of hearings.

[Source: Poker News Report]


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