January 11, 2010 (PAP Newswire) — The California Nations Indian Gaming Association, a nonprofit group made up on federally recognized tribal governments based in the Golden State, is holding its next conference tomorrow in Palm Springs — and the issue of Internet poker is on the agenda.
“Of all the sessions, a panel that is expected to be heavily attended is on Internet poker: How the initiative launched in 2009 by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and California card rooms would affect tribal governments,” writes Debra Gruszecki in The Desert Sun.
According to the California Nations Indian Gaming Association communications director, that panel is one of the reasons why registration for the conference has been stronger than usual.
Indeed, the ultimate fate of online poker in California may be at least partially decided by the results of this conference, depending on what kind of consensus can be reached and what lawmakers can be brought on board.
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians led an aborted attempt to get online poker legalized within the California State borders (and within the UIGEA’s legal framework) in the last half of 2009. The group built a small group of supporters, but didn’t have enough time to enact any legislative change.
This year, the movement is getting a much earlier start.
“There’s been speculation that the state Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization could set an informational hearing on the topic as early as this month,” Gruscezi continues. An influential California assemblyman, Joe Coto, D-San Jose, is among the lawmakers expected to attend.