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Morongo Tribe involved in another California poker initiative

You have to say one thing for the Morongo tribal band in California - their determination to corner a chunk of the internet poker action in the sunshine state is pretty impressive. This week the news surfaced that the tribe, which previously allied itself with California cardrooms in a similar quest, is involved in the latest attempt to legalise online poker in California, a legislative proposal launched Monday by Santa Ana Democrat Senator Louis Carrea.

The San Bernardino-based San Manuel Band - another tribal casino owner - is the third party in the drive.

The LA Times reports that Sen. Correa's proposed Senate Bill 40 may be an attempt to get an intra-state system in place before Senator Harry Reid's reportedly federal launch of similar legislation gains traction.

SB40 makes provision for select tribes and others to run state-sanctioned Internet poker games, with a cut of the action going to state coffers, the newspaper reports.

"People play offshore now. All of that money goes offshore," Correa told the LA Times. "What we're trying to do is take a whole exploding industry that is illegal (in California) and make it legal and tax it to fund state services."

Correa apparently acknowledges that other Californian tribes have concerns about the proposal, which critics say has the potential to let select tribes operate Internet poker websites that would take customers away from brick-and-mortar casinos.

There are also fears that Indian tribes that oppose online gambling for competitive reasons may resurrect their threats to withhold payments to the state from slot machines if Internet poker is allowed. This strategy was reportedly effective in helping to derail a similar measure introduced last legislative session by Sen. Roderick Wright.

Source: InfoPowa News

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