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More Indian Tribes To Back Online Poker Legislation

Written By: PokerNet.com | August 6, 2012 | Posted In Poker News

About eight months ago, Washington State’s Tulalip Tribes have condemned the legalizing web gambling. Recently, they have changed their minds. On July 26, Glen Gobin, Tulalip Secretary has issued a statement that tribes must be given equal footing to participate in legalizing online gambling in Indian Tribes.

W. Ron Allen, chairman of the Washington Indian Gaming Association has called Gobin a realist. He has probably realized that the tribes in Washington State will be left out should there be a federal legislation that will legalize Internet gambling in Indian tribes. Washington State is the only state that is strict in prohibiting residents to engage in online gambling. Anyone caught will be charged with a Class C felony. Even off-shore companies are prohibited by the government.

At present, Washington and Utah are the only two states that remain exception to the legislation. There are two different plans in regulating online poker at a federal level. The first one allows the US Department of Commerce to certify states that will regulate online poker. The second one would leave oversight to the National Indian Gaming Commission. This commission regulates the gambling operations in 237 tribes.

Many tribal officials, including Gobin favors the second option for legislation. The National Indian Gaming Commission is presently headed by Tracie Stevens, a member of the Tulalip Tribes. 0n the other hand, the other option is favored by the Poker Players Alliance, a group that has spent $7.6 million on lobbying legislations for online poker. The tribes have spent $20 million last year on lobbying and contributed $58 million to federal candidates since 1990.

Individual states will be taking legislation matters in their hands should federal legislation for online poker be delayed. At present, Nevada and Delaware have already passed their own laws on online gambling. States like California continue to oppose how online poker should be regulated. Massachusetts and Connecticut are talking with Tribal casino operators for strategic coalitions. Both are also urged to legalize Internet gambling.

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