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Online Gambling Imminent, But Concerns Remain

Dave Palermo is an award-winning metropolitan newspaper reporter. He has written about American Indian governments for more than 20 years, working as an advocate for several tribes and tribal associations. He also has co-authored books on gambling and gambling law. He can be reached at dgpalermo1@gmail.com.

(Blog) Dave Palermo: Online Gambling Imminent, But Concerns Remain

With the Internet poker debate moving to the Assembly side of the California Legislature, American Indian leaders and lobbyists are expressing renewed optimism a bill will pass out of the 2014 session.

Isadore Hall III, chairman of the Assembly Government Organization Committee (GOC), shared that optimism in a speech at the iGaming Legislative Symposium Thursday at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

“I believe it’s possible in 2014,” Hall told nearly 200 delegates at the event, co-sponsored by Pechanga.net and Spectrum Gaming Group.

But Hall was quick to qualify his optimism, remarking that while Assembly and Senate draft bills represent “a great deal of work and progress” there remains “a lot of work ahead of us before one of these bills actually gets the blessing of the governor’s signature.”

Hall said his committee will conduct a hearing in the “next few weeks” on AB2291, sponsored by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, a bill drafted by a coalition of eight politically powerful tribes headed by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

The public hearing will be the first Capitol Hill session on online gambling in two years. Roderick Wright, who last month resigned as Senate GOC chair following his perjury and fraud convictions, had for four years been unable to get sponsored online gambling bills out of committee.

The Assembly hearing will not be held before the Pechanga coalition meets March 14 with an equally politically influential five-member tribal group headed by the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

The San Manuel coalition has a draft (SB1366) bill sponsored by Lou Correa, newly appointed chair of the Senate GOC.

While there remains deep-seeded philosophical disagreement between the tribal groups, they are very close on consensus language political insiders believe is essential for an online poker bill to come out of California, potentially the nation’s most lucrative market with 38 million citizens.

“We’re there,” Bo Mazzetti, chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, told iGaming delegates. “We have some minor things to work out. We’re 99 percent there.”

Meanwhile, at least two of California’s 110 tribes are poised to move on online gambling regardless of what may result from the legislative and tribal initiatives.

Desert Rose Bingo, a partnership of Great Luck LLC and the Alturas Indian Rancheria, is hopeful of launching a real-money, Class II bingo website in another 30 days. The project has met with a number of delays, largely due to finding a firm to process online wagers.

And the Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueño Mission Indians, which last month was forced to close its remote, financially struggling casino in San Diego County, has told several sources it may launch an online poker site before legislation comes out of Sacramento.

“They want to be first in the market,” said a source who requested anonymity.

Santa Ysabel officials could not be reached for comment.

Great Luck CEO Joe Valandra said he has had two conversations with Santa Ysabel tribal leaders to discuss “how we might coordinate our activities so we don’t step on each other.”

The two tribes and California Indian governments working with the Inter Tribal Online Gaming Alliance (ITOGA) have expressed a willingness to challenge what many believe to be legal prohibitions against tribes soliciting wagers from off Indian lands.

It’s not clear, however, if ITOGA, which at one time consisted of seven tribes, is continuing to pursue an interstate alliance. Officials with the group could not be reached for comment.

The governor’s office is discouraging tribal efforts to pursue online gambling outside the legislative process.

“It started with [former Governor Jerry Brown legislative aide Jacob] Appelsmith and it has carried over to Joe [Dhillon, Appelsmith’s replacement],” Valandra said. “They contend what we’re trying to do is a violation of the [tribal-state] compact.

“It’s saber-rattling with no specifics. It’s not a violation of the compact. You can allege anything you want, but it’s not.”

The Pechanga coalition has advocated legislation it claims would adhere to public policy and voter support for limit gambling. The group until recently had sought a bill that would limit licensing and investments by European and Nevada casino companies.

San Manuel tribes have pressed for an open business model, contending gambling in California would be a commercial venture outside the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), taxed and regulated by the state.

“This is not Indian gaming under IGRA,” Mazzetti said. “It’s not Indian gaming under federal law.”

Pechanga tribes have since conceded bad actor and licensing prohibitions in their original drafts would not pass muster with the legislature and, perhaps, lead to lawsuits delaying implementation of a state law.

They also appear willing to discuss concessions on limiting websites and multiple branding.

The Pechanga and San Manuel coalitions seek protection against unlicensed firms using smaller card clubs and tribes to establish “false fronts” to penetrate the industry.

“I think consumers can be well protected through various ways in knowing who is actually running the site and regulators do a good job is ensuring consumer protection is in place,” said Keith Sharp, an attorney for California card rooms.

Both tribal groups also oppose licensing racing and advanced deposit wagering (ADW) firms, a segment of the state’s $10.4 billion industry that lost its champion with the departure of Wright.

“The legislature is going to decide who is in and who is out,” Sharp said.

The alliance of tribes and card rooms is crucial to legislation. It was noted at last week’s symposium that COPA (California Online Poker Alliance), a defunct coalition of tribes and card rooms, was instrumental in paving the way for pending legislation.

Robert Martin, chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and a key figure in forming COPA, has refrained from participation in this year’s round of negotiations.

“[COPA] really helped to bring the card room perspective into the discussion in a meaningful way,” Pechanga tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said.

“COPA was a pretty good example of tribal interests and card room interests coming together on a common issue,” Sharp told the symposium.

Card rooms are seeking “an equal playing field” with tribes when it comes to licensing, Sharp said. But they are largely aligned with tribes on most issues.

“There are two bills that are more alike than they are different in most respects,” Sharp said. “We do want to see these bills come together as soon as possible.

“I think there’s quite a bit of momentum now, despite the exit of Senator Wright,” Sharp said. “I’m excited that we may actually see poker move forward this session.”

Most tribal leaders and lobbyists do not believe shifting the debate from the Senate to the Assembly will delay progress on getting legislation out of the 2014 session. But they acknowledge the Assembly GOC is lower on the Internet learning curve.

“The Senate’s in a better place. They don’t need a hearing on [tribal gaming] exclusivity or how the Internet works,” said lobbyist Jerome Encinas. “They’ve been through all that.

“I’m a little bit concerned because they (Assembly GOC] aren’t ready for it yet.

“I don’t know if that means the issue will move quicker or not. I don’t believe it will delay things.”

Both Jacob Coin, San Manuel’s executive director of public affairs, and Doug Elmets, political consultant for the United Auburn Indian Community, said they believe the Assembly GOC will benefit from the legislative documentation on Internet wagering accumulated by the Senate GOC.

“There’s a great depth and breathe of information there,” Coin said.

“I look forward to working with Senator Correa and all of my colleagues in the Senate this year on this very, very important issue,” Hall said.

Macarro said it’s important to Indian governments that Internet gambling does not negatively impact the benefits of tribal government gambling in enabling tribes to strengthen governments and build diversified economies.

Internet gambling, he said, “is a greater threat than an opportunity.”

“We don’t want to be here,” Macarro told iGaming delegates. “We are talking about possibly destabilizing the one and only thing that’s ever really worked for tribal governments. It’s hard to really [over]emphasize how key that is.”

But with advancing technology and Internet wagering, Macarro said, “We can’t afford not to be ready.”

Leslie Lohse, co-chair of the California Tribal Business Alliance, a coalition of three tribes, said even a 6 percent drop in revenue from land-based casinos could noticeably diminish government services to tribal citizens.

“We’re not corporations,” she said. “We’re tribal governments.”

“With card clubs, it’s about profits,” Macarro said. “It’s about business. For tribal governments it’s about preserving our unique indigenous identity” and governmental services funded by tribal casinos.

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press release Southern California's 2017 Best Casinos
(California) -- The Southern California Gaming Guide™ announced today its Reader's Choice 2017 BEST CASINOS conducted in August. The 2017 BEST CASINOS include...

9/27/2017

article Californian poker is still on pause
(California) -- Online poker regulations in California State have been delayed until next year, generating doubts about a possible approval. Local legislators have...

9/26/2017

article BLOG: California Internet Poker Efforts Over for 2017
(California) -- After an initial flurry of activity at the start of 2017, any hopes that California might soon become the fourth US state to legalize online poker in the...

9/11/2017

article Two California Tribal Compacts Approved
(California) -- California Governor Jerry Brown has signed two gaming compacts. The legislature has approved one of them and will soon take up the other. The compacts...

9/5/2017

press release Governor Brown And The Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe Sign New Tribal-State Gaming Compact
(California) -- Governor Edmund G. Brown and the Fort Yuma Quechan Indian Tribe ("Tribe") have signed a new Tribal-State Gaming Compact ("Compact")...

9/3/2017

article Taking a spin at casinos outside San Diego
(California) -- Casinos and casino resorts aren’t exclusive to the San Diego area. Here are destinations to check out if you’re traveling in Southern...
article Luxury links: Our pro tees off at Barona, Pechanga golf courses
(California) -- When the Barona Band of Mission Indians decided in the late 1990s they were going to build their own golf course as an amenity to a new hotel and casino...
article San Diego casino building boom expands again
(California) -- One down, five to go. On June 12, Harrah’s Resort Southern California completed the final phase of its $160 million expansion with the opening of...
article SPAS: Casinos make S.D. a pampering paradise
(California) -- San Diego has long been known as a weather wonderland, but perhaps it’s time to update that description to also reflect it being a pampering...

9/1/2017

article Governor Brown Signs Tribal Compacts
(California) -- Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed tribal-state gaming compacts between the State of California and the Elk Valley Rancheria...

8/30/2017

article Solano board opposes bill to give tax-exempt status for native tribes seeking federal trust
(California) -- Solano County supervisors oppose a bill that would give Native American tribes tax-exempt status as that tribe seeks to place land holdings into a...

8/24/2017

article Tribe Pushes To Revive Suit Over Calif. Gov. Casino OK (sub req)
(New York) -- The United Auburn Indian Community continued Wednesday to press the California Supreme Court to revive its lawsuit challenging Gov. Jerry Brown’s...

8/19/2017

article Governor Brown Signs Tribal Compacts
(California) -- Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed tribal-state gaming compacts between the State of California and the Tuolumne Band of Me-...

8/18/2017

article Governor Signs New Gaming Pact With Tuolumne Band Of Me-Wuk Indians
(California) -- Late this afternoon Governor Jerry Brown announced that he signed a new tribal-state gaming compact with the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians. In addition...

8/7/2017

article 9th Circ. Brings Back Bad Faith Claims Over Tribal Casino [sub req]
(California) -- The Ninth Circuit partly revived a suit by a California tribe and a developer over their failed proposal for a casino in a Bay Area city on Friday,...

8/2/2017

article Sonoma County Fair’s horse racing struggles amid nationwide industry decline
(California) -- Horse racing has long gone hand in hand with the Sonoma County Fair, as much a staple of the annual summertime event as carnival rides and deep-fried...

7/19/2017

article Tribal Gaming Growth Hurts Laughlin and Reno but Vegas is Bulletproof, Says Analyst
(Nevada) -- The National Indian Gaming Commission reported this week that America’s tribal gaming operators collectively generated $31.2 billion in gross gaming...

7/18/2017

article Indian tribes’ gaming win shifts landscape in Laughlin, Reno
(Nevada) -- Record gross gaming revenue at casinos operated by the nation’s Indian tribes in 2016 has been an economic success story for tribes but has altered the...

7/10/2017

blog Dave Palermo: Tribal Anger Grows Over Card Room Games
(California) -- American Indian tribes operating casinos are demanding that California gambling regulators limit contractual agreements between card rooms and firms...

7/4/2017

blog Dave Palermo: DOJ Suspends Card Room Rotation Rule
(California) -- California gambling regulators are at least temporarily suspending a controversial card room rule that the player-dealer position in high stakes versions...

6/28/2017

article It’s hot! Here’s how to chill out at a Southern California casino
(California) -- With Inland temperatures continuing to scorch and summer in full swing, taking a dip in a pool is a perfect activity to cool off. And if you don’t...

6/27/2017

article The House Raises / A look at four new developments tied to local casino operations
(California) -- Gaming facilities across the capital region are booming with expansions and new construction. Here’s a look at four new developments tied to local...

6/26/2017

article Back and Forward: Susan Jensen on Tribal Gaming in California
(California) -- Susan Jensen, executive director of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, offers her insight into the challenges facing tribal casino...

6/4/2017

article Primer On Indian Casinos In California
(California) -- 57 distinct Native American tribes operate 58 California Indian Casinos. How successful they are is apparent from the fact that last year, all the...

5/31/2017

article Coyote Valley Casino could be relocated
(California) -- The Coyote Valley Band Of Pomo Indians revealed that the tribe is in talks with Mendocino County authorities to relocate the Coyote Valley Casino to a...

5/30/2017

article California tribe continuing casino relocation negotiations
(California) -- In northern California, the Coyote Valley Band Of Pomo Indians is reportedly continuing negotiations with officials in Mendocino County regarding the...

5/29/2017

article BLOG: Tribes And Card Rooms Waging War Over Table Games
(California) -- California is unlikely to tackle the polarizing issue of online poker in 2017. However, an even more contentious gaming issue appears to be coming to a...

5/26/2017

article PALERMO: Gaming the System
(California) -- A five-year dispute between California’s American Indian tribes and the state’s card rooms is moving toward potential litigation that could...

5/24/2017

article Coyote Valley working on negotiations for M.O.U. with the county regarding a new casino [3rd Item]
(California) -- The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians is working on negotiations for a memorandum of understanding with the county regarding a new casino that the tribe...

5/23/2017

article BLOG: Coalitions Shuffle The Deck, But CA Online Poker Still A Wash This Year
(California) -- In an April interview with Online Poker Report, California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer pronounced California online poker dead for the 2017...

5/16/2017

article Coyote Valley Casino expansion, housing plan taken up by county
(California) -- The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians is negotiating with the county for approval to build a new casino and housing on its reservation in Redwood Valley...

5/8/2017

article Appeal Of Calif. Tribal Casino Approval Premature, Feds Say [sub req]
(California) -- The federal government told the Ninth Circuit Friday it didn’t have jurisdiction to hear a suit brought by community groups attempting to block a...

4/28/2017

article New Hope For California Online Poker? Tribal Group Ends PokerStars Partnership
(California) -- The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians said Wednesday that it is no longer a member of the coalition that includes PokerStars, Commerce Casino, Hawaiian...

4/26/2017

article PALERMO: Tribal Exec Sees ‘Titanic Shift’ For California Online Poker Landscape As San Manuel Pulls Out Of PokerStars Coalition
(California) -- One of two politically powerful American Indian tribes in partnership with Amaya / PokerStars and three Los Angeles area cardrooms in an effort to...

4/25/2017

article California online poker bill may not be heard until 2018
(California) -- A bill to legalise and regulate online poker in the state of California will likely not be heard until at least 2018, according to the latest reports....
article California Online Poker Efforts Shelved Indefinitely
(California) -- It’s been 10 years since lawmakers in California began looking at regulating state-licensed online poker sites. Nothing has ever come to fruition....

4/24/2017

article California Lawmaker On Online Poker: ‘We’ve Got To Start From Ground Zero’
(California) -- California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer told Online Poker Report that his bill to legalize and regulate online poker will not be moving this year....

4/12/2017

article Tribes Look Beyond Slot Machines For Future Income
(California) -- Casinos have brought decades of prosperity to many Native American tribes in San Diego County and across the nation. Now, tribal nations are looking...

4/6/2017

article Bicycle Casino Raid Could Hurt PokerStars' Chances In California, Tribal Gaming Insider Says
(California) -- After 10 years worth of debate in California over online poker the only hurdle that remains is “suitability” for licensing. Some politically...

4/5/2017

article Cache Creek Casino owner to provide $161 million to Yolo County
(California) -- The tribal owner of Cache Creek Casino agreed Tuesday to provide Yolo County with $161 million over the next 22 years, as it eyes an expansion for its...
article Cache Creek tribe approved to add 459 hotel rooms in $161 million deal with Yolo County
(California) -- ​The tribe that owns Cache Creek Casino Resort will pay Yolo County $161 million over 22 years in an agreement that will allow the tribe to expand its...

4/4/2017

article New tribal pact will provide county with $161M over next 22 years
(California) -- When Yolo County and the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation collaborate to expand the Cache Creek Casino, everybody wins. The tribe and the county have approved an...
article Tribe to pay county more than $161 million over 22 years under new agreement
(California) -- Yolo County supervisors unanimously approved a new intergovernmental agreement Tuesday with the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation that will provide the county and...

4/3/2017

article City may adopt vehicle abatement program
(California) -- The Porterville City Council will decide Tuesday if it will approve a draft resolution confirming the city’s participation in the abandoned vehicle...

3/26/2017

article Casinos might need more than games to keep gamblers as competition grows
(California) -- Sacramento’s Indian casino scene could soon get more crowded. With two casino projects on the horizon in an already bustling market, tribal...
article San Diego modern Indians
(California) -- Along with the 2000 slot-machine maximum, the compact placed limits on the table games the Indian casinos could offer. "We do not have any dice...

3/16/2017

article County supervisors sought more than $275,000 in charitable gifts
(California) -- Five San Diego County supervisors solicited more than $275,000 in contributions from utilities, casino operators and other high-profile donors in recent...

3/12/2017

article Tribes Economically Thriving 30 Years After Cabazon Decision
(California) -- Lindsay Robertson started his law career working on business development. He was familiar with laws regarding tribal sovereignty, but he was asked to...

3/9/2017

article Column: Time to plan a rockin’ road trip
(California) -- If you’re a fan of live music, you’re probably used to seeing shows at local venues like the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza or The Canyon...

3/2/2017

article 3 States to Watch for iGaming Legalization in 2017
(California) -- Each year, more and more states turn to online gambling legalization. In 2017, the three states to watch are also three of the biggest potential markets...
article California Online Poker Bill Will Try to Tackle Suitability Again
(California) -- For the 10th year in a row, legislation to regulate online poker was introduced in California. Rather than being the culmination of momentum built over...

2/25/2017

article Tribes celebrating 30th anniversary of landmark court decision
(Indian Country) -- Decision in 1987 led to protections for tribes that offered gaming and clarified how states could regulate the activity on tribal lands.

2/24/2017

article PALERMO: New California Online Poker Bill Keeps Debate Alive, But Stops Short Of Solutions To Suitability Stalemate
(California) -- Online poker legislation filed last week by California Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer could bring stakeholders to the table for discussions, but...
article Cabazon: The Raid That Changed Gaming History
(California) -- Saturday marks the 30th anniversary of the decision in California v. the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians. The case began with a destitute Indian tribe...
article California tribes recall Indian gaming ruling that changed their fortunes
(California) -- When Robert Martin was a young man, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians' reservation in the California desert had few paved roads. Many tribal...

2/22/2017

article California Back At It With Another Online Poker Bill, Though Its Prospects Seem Dim
(California) -- A new year means a new attempt to get an online poker bill through the California Assembly. The latest bill was introduced last week and is called the...
article New bill puts online poker back on the table
(California) -- Despite failed efforts over the past decade to legalize and regulate real-money online poker sites, the state of California will try again in 2017.

2/21/2017

article Another California Online Poker Bill Introduced
(California) -- Despite failed efforts over the past decade to legalize and regulate real-money online poker sites, the state of California will try again in 2017. The...
article California Online Poker Bill Back for Another Go
(California) -- They are back at it again in California. For about the billionth time this century, an online poker bill has been introduced into the state legislature...
article California’s 2017 Online Poker Push Begins with New Assembly Bill
(California) -- It is barely a surprise that California is once again pushing for the legalization and regulation of online poker. Numerous efforts have been introduced...
article New California online poker bill AB 1677 Introduced
(California) -- After over a decade of attempts, California is making yet another effort to pass online poker legislation that will bring legal and regulated ipoker to...

2/20/2017

article California gets first online poker bill for 2017
(California) -- California legislators are gearing up for yet another Sisyphean effort at passing online poker legislation, because it’s not like the state has any...
article iGAMING LEG: California Assembly Bill 1677
(California) -- An act to add Section 19619.8 to, and to add and repeal Chapter 5.2 (commencing with Section 19990.101) of Division 8 of, the Business and Professions...
article New Bill To Regulate Online Poker Puts California Back On The Roster For 2017
(California) -- Online poker legislation has become a perennial event in California, with efforts stretching back some 10 years. Despite a decade of debate, the state...

2/18/2017

article Calif., Tribes Look To End Gambling Pact End Date Suit [sub req]
(California) -- Two California tribes and the state argued in federal court Thursday over whether a contract provision establishing expiration dates for the tribes'...

2/13/2017

article Online Poker Futility Serves As A Lesson To California Tribes On Embracing Technology In A Changing Industry
(California) -- Failure to legalize online poker in California should serve as a lesson for American Indian tribes challenged by the internet and new technology, growing...

2/3/2017

press release Three California Casinos Awarded Annual Responsible Gaming Certifications
(California) -- The California Council on Problem Gambling (CCPG) has awarded annual responsible gaming silver certifications to three California casinos: the Viejas...

2/1/2017

article Former California Gaming Regulator Rocks the Boat with Controversial Career Choice
(California) -- A former California Gambling Control commissioner is making waves by launching a gambling consulting business just four days after quitting the state...

1/31/2017

article Decision by former California gambling commissioner draws criticism
(California) -- In California, the decision by the former head of the state’s gambling regulator to open an independent consulting business only four days after her term...
article MORON ALERT: State gambling commissioner quits; days later opens gaming consulting business
(California) -- A former state gambling commissioner who retired in December after six years regulating California’s gaming industry opened a gaming consulting business...

1/30/2017

article Online poker in California – a sense of déjà vu?
(California) -- Those who have followed the efforts to see online poker legalised in California, ongoing since 2008, could be forgiven for having felt a sense of déjà vu...

1/28/2017

press release Agenda Set for Western Indian Gaming Conference
(California) -- The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) announces the 22nd annual Western Indian Gaming Conference (WIGC) February 7th -9th at the...

1/15/2017

article Thunder Valley’s Dawn Clayton leads $35 million expansion
(California) -- In a pinch, Dawn Clayton, 53, the top executive at Thunder Valley Casino and Resort in Lincoln, could go out on the casino floor and deal poker,...

1/7/2017

article California casino gambling license in jeopardy
(California) -- In southern California, The Gardens Casino is reportedly in jeopardy of losing its gambling license following accusations from state officials that it...

1/3/2017

article Court rulings target Indian casinos
(California) -- Two recent conflicting California court of appeal cases could affect the prospects for the proposed Indian gaming casino in Lenwood if it ever clears the...

12/27/2016

article Top 10 Gambling Stories of 2016: North America - Part 1
(North America) -- 2016 may appear like a slow year in gambling news on the surface but there are some events that are so significant that when looked back on in the...

12/13/2016

article Ultimate casino guide: San Diego County bets big and hits the jackpot
(California) -- Casino fans, it’s your lucky day — San Diego’s gaming industry has never been more dynamic. The October opening of Hollywood Casino...

12/9/2016

article California iPoker Prospects Dim for 2017
(California) -- The state of California has been trying to move forward with online poker legislation for several years now, and despite hopes of success being raised in...

12/8/2016

article PALERMO: Push For California Online Poker In 2017 May Be Doomed Before It Even Begins
(California) -- A dozen politically powerful American Indian tribes are not likely to reach the consensus needed to move an online poker bill in the 2017 California...

12/6/2016

article Suitability Issue Likely To Remain Stumbling Block For California Online Poker In 2017
(California) -- For the 10th consecutive year, the California legislature is expected to explore legalizing online poker. But will 2017 be any different than the failed...
article BIA provisionally approves five California gaming compacts
(California) -- Although not tacitly approved by agency action, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has let five California tribal/state gaming compacts take effect with...
article California Tribal Gaming Generates $7.8B In Economic Activity, Group Says
(California) -- Tribal casinos across the state of California generate $7.8 billion in economic output a year, according to findings announced Monday from the California...

12/5/2016

article Class III gaming compacts for five tribes in California take effect
(California) -- The Bureau of Indian Affairs has allowed Class III gaming compacts for five tribes in California to take effect. Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,...

11/30/2016

article Calif. Tribes Say Gambling Pact End Dates Violate IGRA [sub req]
(California) -- Two California tribes again urged a federal judge Monday to give them a quick win in their bid to void a contract provision providing an expiration date...

10/29/2016

article Isadore Hall, California Gaming Lawmaker, Locks Horns with Opponent in Ugly Congressional Race
(California) -- California State Assemblyman Isadore Hall’s (D-35th) bid for Congress has descended into a mud-slinging match with his opponent Nanette Barragan....

10/26/2016

article California Nations Indian Gaming Association names new executive director
(California) -- The California Nations Indian Gaming Association has a new executive director. Susan Jensen, a long-time employee of the organization, is taking over the...

10/18/2016

article Governor (Still) Not A Public Agency Subject To CEQA, Holds Third District In Indian Gaming Case
(California) -- The Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”; 25 U.S.C. § 2701 et seq.) allows gaming on Indian lands acquired by the Secretary of...

9/21/2016

article Tribal Relationships in California Cloud iPoker Issue
(California) -- The bill that would have legalized online poker in California is dead. But the issue is far from dead and the rivalries and politics that surround the...
article California to return $36.2 million to Pauma Band after decade-long casino fight
(California) -- Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill appropriating funds for a $36.2 million payment to the Pauma Band of Luiseño Mission Indians after a court found...

9/15/2016

article State, Inland Native American tribes OK gaming, education pacts
(California) -- New tribal compacts, including two that create an education and scholarship fund for Native American youth, were ratified by Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed...

9/14/2016

article California to return $36.2 million to San Diego County tribe
(California) -- In California, the Pauma Band Of Luiseno Mission Indians Of The Pauma And Yuima Reservation is set to receive more than $36 million in cash after the...

9/13/2016

article Governor Brown Signs Tribal Compact Legislation
(California) -- Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed legislation ratifying tribal-state gaming compacts between the State of California and the Barona Band of...

9/12/2016

article Brown Signs New Gaming Compact with Barona
(California) -- Gov. Jerry Brown Monday signed a bill ratifying a new gaming compact between the state of California and the Barona Band of Mission Indians, which runs a...

9/11/2016

article US Online Gambling Outlook for 2017
(California) -- California iPoker 2016 – RIP. Yet another year passes without regulated online poker in the largest market in the country. With the exception of...

9/9/2016

article OP/ED: Online poker may never be approved in California unless all benefit
(California) -- There was some hope that a California poker bill would finally pass after Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced AB2863 in February of this year. The bill...
article California pays tribe $36 million to settle years-old fight
(California) -- California will pay a Southern California Indian tribe more than $36 million after losing a lengthy legal battle. Gov. Jerry Brown said Friday that he...
article LEGAL ANALYSIS: 4 Takeaways From DOI's Win In Calif. Tribal Casino Row [sub req]
(California) -- A federal court's recent rejection of a challenge to a casino the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians plans to build in Northern California endorsed...

9/7/2016

article PALERMO: California Tribes And Online Poker: A Complex Relationship That Will Continue To Complicate Legislative Efforts
(California) -- Last month, Amaya / PokerStars and its American Indian casino and card room partners weighed in on online poker just as the California Legislature...

9/6/2016

article BLOG: Progress Made On Online Poker In 2016 Might Not Carry Over To Next Year In California
(California) -- Despite progress on several key issues, an online poker bill has once again failed to make it out of the California legislature. A solution to the...

Other Blog Posts by This Author

7/10/2017

Dave Palermo: Tribal Anger Grows Over Card Room Games
(California) -- American Indian tribes operating casinos are demanding that California gambling regulators limit contractual agreements between card rooms and firms...

7/4/2017

Dave Palermo: DOJ Suspends Card Room Rotation Rule
(California) -- California gambling regulators are at least temporarily suspending a controversial card room rule that the player-dealer position in high stakes versions...

6/26/2017

Dave Palermo: Gathering Tribes to Discuss Dispute with Card Rooms, Regulators
(California) -- The questionable legality of banked games operated by California card rooms and the apparent inability of state regulators to monitor and police the...

8/17/2016

Dave Palermo: Lytle’s Letter Will Linger Over a Troubled Gambling Regulatory System
(California) -- Card room consulting and ownership licenses held by California’s onetime chief gambling enforcement officer were revoked in a stipulated agreement...

7/5/2016

Dave Palermo: Tribes Angry at New Card Club Rules
(California) -- New rules for banked table games at California card rooms will not prevent what American Indian tribes contend are illegal games that violate their...

5/14/2016

Dave Palermo: Lytle Admits to Wrongdoing, Relinquishes Card Room Licenses
(California) -- California’s former gambling enforcement chief has agreed to revocation of his licenses as a card room owner and consultant following his admission...

4/24/2016

Dave Palermo: California Tribes Working with Interior to Recover Native Lands
(USA) -- California’s American Indian tribes are reacquiring and placing in federal trust ancestral lands lost since European settlement, a trend crucial to...

1/13/2016

Dave Palermo: Tribes Looking for Unity on DFS, I-Poker
(California) -- Momentum to get a Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) bill out of the California Legislature is bullying efforts to legalize Internet poker, much to the dismay of...

9/8/2015

Dave Palermo: A New Era Emerging in Tribal/Labor Relations
(California) -- The united stand California’s American Indians took against organized labor intrusion into tribal governance 15 years ago is rapidly dissipating as...

7/27/2015

Dave Palermo: GOP Using GAO Audit to Criticize Tribal Casino Regulations
(Washington D.C.) -- Republican senators are using a General Accountability Office audit of the National Indian Gaming Commission to booster their belief the American...

6/29/2015

Dave Palermo: Tribes Cite ‘Illegal’ Card Room Games in Questioning State Regulatory Resources
(California) -- The inability of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prevent what he called “illegal” activity in California card rooms indicate the agency...

5/30/2015

Dave Palermo: California Needs ‘Hard Look’ at Gambling Regulations, Lopes Says
(California) -- California’s top gambling industry regulator, in announcing his retirement Thursday, said the state should “take a hard look” at its...

3/4/2015

Dave Palermo: Lopes, Littleton Recuse Themselves from Lytle Licensing Case
(California) -- The California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) chairman has recused himself from deliberating the licensing of former industry enforcement director...

3/1/2015

Dave Palermo: I-Poker Prospects Looks Dim Despite Gray/Hall Alliance
(California) -- Despite optimism generated by companion Senate/Assembly bills seeking Internet poker in California, it remains unlikely legislation will make it out of...

2/15/2015

Dave Palermo: Tribal Moves on Tracks, ‘Bad Actors’ Does Not Bode Well for Online Poker
(California) -- The decision last week by three California tribes to embrace licensing racing associations and softening “bad actor” language in proposed...

2/13/2015

Dave Palermo: Three More Tribes Embrace Tracks on Internet Poker
(California) -- Three politically powerful California tribes and 24 card rooms are recommending to state Assembly sponsors of Internet poker bills that “bad actor...

2/8/2015

Dave Palermo: Tribes Divided into Three Groups on Internet Poker in California
(California) -- What was described last year as a coalition of a dozen American Indian tribes united on legislative language to enact an Internet poker bill in...

1/27/2015

Dave Palermo: ‘Let’s Revisit Bifurcated Regulatory System,’ Gatto says
(California) -- The effectiveness of California’s politically bifurcated gambling regulatory system and its enforcement arm under the state Attorney General should...

1/22/2015

Dave Palermo: New California Draft Poker Bill Includes Race Tracks
(California) -- A second draft bill to legalize Internet poker in California that would include the pari-mutuel racing industry along with American Indian tribes and...

1/20/2015

Dave Palermo: Potential Conflict In AG’s Lytle Licensing Investigation
(California) -- California gambling regulatory officials who will rule on the licensing of a former casino enforcement chief accused of jeopardizing a $119 million card...

1/15/2015

Dave Palermo: Lytle Corruption Probe May Hurt I-Poker Effort
(California) -- An investigation into alleged corruption in the California gambling enforcement agency may hurt attempts to get legislative approval of online poker,...

10/6/2014

Dave Palermo: GAO Casino Audit Concerns Tribal Regulators
(Washington D.C.) -- A federal audit of American Indian casinos is generating concern among tribal officials who fear the report will suggest a need for broader...

3/2/2014

Dave Palermo: Online Gambling Imminent, But Concerns Remain
(California) -- With the Internet poker debate moving to the Assembly side of the California Legislature, American Indian leaders and lobbyists are expressing renewed...

2/23/2014

Dave Palermo: Progress on Land/Trust in California, But There’s a Ways to Go
(California) -- American Indian tribes are being told California Gov. Jerry Brown will monitor what has been a series of letters from Attorney General (AG) Kamala Harris...

9/15/2013

Dave Palermo: NIGC opinion crucial to Bay Mills case
(Washington D.C.) -- A 2010 opinion by the federal Indian gambling regulatory agency that it has no jurisdiction over a tiny, Vanderbilt, Mich., casino could lead to a...

8/27/2013

Dave Palermo: Lytton Band of Pomo Indians Leave The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA)
(California) -- The Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, operators of San Pablo Lytton Casino, a non-compacted, Class II casino near San Francisco, is no longer a member of the...

8/25/2013

Dave Palermo: Tribes close, yet so far on Internet consensus
(California) -- Amended Internet poker legislation sponsored by California Senator Lou Correa and backed by a coalition of American Indian tribes under the leadership of...

8/11/2013

Dave Palermo: Tribes angry at California AG’s land/trust letters to Interior
(California) -- American Indians are outraged at the California Attorney General’s stepped-up opposition to tribal efforts to place land in trust for casinos, fire...

7/29/2013

Dave Palermo: Interior moves to fix a ‘broken’ federal recognition system
(Washington D.C.) -- A “discussion draft” of new rules intended to fix a broken system of federal recognition of American Indian tribes is the topic of a...

4/15/2013

Dave Palermo: Will the Internet be the ‘new Cabazon?’
(USA) --   Neil Cornelius, GM for the Osage casinos in Oklahoma, was walking to a gambling seminar in Las Vegas recently when a trade industry reporter asked him...

4/1/2013

Dave Palermo: Myriad problems with Carcieri decision
(Washington D.C.) -- The 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting the Department of Interior’s ability to place land in trust for American Indians not “under...

3/25/2013

Dave Palermo: Tribal recognition change is in the winds
(Washington D.C.) -- Draft regulations aimed at reforming the federal administrative process for recognizing American Indian tribes will be available for review by...

3/18/2013

Dave Palermo: Fixing a broken system of tribal recognition
(Washington D.C.) -- Nor Rel Muk WintuIndians indigenous to the Klamath Mountains in Northern California have a lot in common with the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape people,...

3/11/2013

Dave Palermo: Gambling and Tribal Recognition Policy
(Washington D.C.) -- Considering that gambling has pretty much hijacked every aspect of federal American Indian policy, it comes as no surprise it would have a major...

3/4/2013

Dave Palermo: Tribes have cleaned up a “sin” industry
(Nevada) -- One of the last of more than 20 years of conversations I had with the late University of Nevada gambling scholar Bill Eadington had to do with the fact...

1/4/2013

Dave Palermo: Tribes, IRS Making Progress on Tax Issues
(Washington D.C.) -- It was during a September hearing of the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs that Rep. Don Young, D-Alaska, grew a bit impatient...

11/5/2012

Dave Palermo: Self-governance guides BIA appointee Kevin Washburn
(Washington D.C.) -- Kevin Washburn is the son of Shirley Stark, an Oklahoma Chickasaw woman and tribal elder, a single parent and retired public health professional who...

9/30/2012

Dave Palermo: A tribal perspective on problem gambling
(USA) -- Clinicians will tell you that problem and pathological gamblers are largely co-morbid, meaning they have compulsive behavioral problems beyond an inability to...

9/23/2012

Dave Palermo: Gambling is the elephant in the Carcieri debate
(Washington D.C.) -- The devastating impact recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have had on the ability of the federal government to place land in trust for American...

9/17/2012

Dave Palermo: Reid/Kyl might be ‘pretty good for tribes.’
(Washington D.C.) -- A summary of Internet poker legislation proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and John Kyl (R-Ariz.) leaked to the press last week...

9/10/2012

Dave Palermo: Legal sports wagering in California an interesting proposition
(California) -- Should Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court reverse federal law prohibiting sports wagering, there appears to be a difference in opinion as to who might...

9/3/2012

Dave Palermo: Much interest, little consensus on Internet at Shakopee meeting
(Minnesota) -- The fact more than 200 tribal leaders, lawyers, lobbyists and vendors gathered Aug. 22 at Mystic Lakes, Minn., to discuss Internet gambling speaks volumes...

8/29/2012

Dave Palermo: No leadership from tribal federal regulatory on Internet gambling
(Washington D.C.) -- A failure by the top federal regulator for American Indian casinos to take a leadership role on Internet wagering annoys tribal leaders who fear...

8/27/2012

Dave Palermo: AKAKA FIX: Mixing the Internet with a Carcieri fix can be tricky
(Washington D.C.) -- Widespread speculation among Capitol Hill insiders is that Sen. Daniel Akaka, (D-Hawaii), is hoping to use draft Internet legislation as leverage to...

8/21/2012

Dave Palermo: Myth of the rich Indian is just that: a myth
(Washington D.C.) -- News from federal regulators that American Indian casino revenues rose 3 percent in 2011 pointed out once again that despite the “myth of the...

8/19/2012

Dave Palermo: Patchak is the latest in a troublesome trend
(Washington D.C.) -- The June U.S. Supreme Court ruling involving Michigan landowner David Patchak and the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Potawatomi, owners of the Gun...

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