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Indian Affairs Committee to Discuss Online Poker

Written By: PokerNet.com | January 31, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

On February 9, Online Poker will be the center of attention in the US Senate Committee regarding the Indian affairs that will cover the grounds and beyond of Indian-related issues. This discussion will surely be closely watched by the gaming world.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) backed away from their strict enforcement of the Federal Wire Act last year without giving a lot of explanations – a vital information needed by those who are backing up the wire act, leaving them clueless and in strife. One of the big questions left unanswered in this multi-billion dollar equation is the role of American Indian gaming interest in the process.

Are Indian tribes impacted negatively by online gaming or do they profit greatly from it? That is the multi-billion dollar question that is yet to be answered. The Mohegan in Connecticut, one of the larger tribes have come out in favor of the online gaming business because they have the resources needed to manage and maintain a big gaming operation however, small tribes might not have the same kind of resources meaning not all Indian tribe is in favor of online gambling.

That said, smaller tribes like the Tulalip in Washington State are expressing their concerns over the legalization of online gambling. One of their main concerns is that online gambling might take a chunk out of their land based business. It would be good to have both operations but if a tribe isn’t financially capable, the new online gaming technology might rob the income of brick and mortar casinos.

The issues of online gaming and tribal casinos were addressed last November wherein the Mohegan Tribe Chairman Bruce Bozsum gave his statements regarding the issue. He expressed that he wanted tribal gaming revenues to remain tax exempt and also limit the geographic restrictions on players. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said that online gaming is inevitable. It’s not surprising that Malloy would be with the sides of the pro online gaming due to the fact that Foxwoods generate more than $200 million income for the state annually.

However, Indian tribes are not yet very keen with the idea of competing with large gambling companies both domestic and foreign since online gambling does exactly that. The idea of them catering with a large market is a hopeful idea, though.

The talk at the hearing would also be about the poker online business being available outside the home states of a player. But the spotlight would be on taxation and player geography. Although there is no clear information on who will be testifying, it is greatly anticipated that Bozsum would be there as well as former US Senator and now Poker Players Association President, Alfonose D’ Amoto.

[Source: Casino Affiliate Programs]

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