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Rincon Letter To California Reps
Dear Representatives Jones-Sawyer and Gatto:
 
We write as a coalition of tribes and card rooms that support the passage of legislation authorizing and regulating Internet poker in the state of California. We appreciate your leadership in bringing Internet poker legislation forward during the current legislative session, and we write in the hope of aiding its passage.
 
To draw the diverse constituencies interested in Internet poker together in support of a single bill will require crafting bill language that satisfies the key concerns that have surfaced over this issue in the last several years. We made efforts in that regard last session, preparing a unified draft of the proposals made by tribal entities and seeking input from card room owners. Now you have taken those efforts one step further with the bills you have introduced.
 
In the interest of identifying areas of consensus that will enable passage of this important legislation, we wish to bring the following issues to your attention. We believe that these issues are essential to finding a meaningful consensus on Internet poker in California.
 
• Eligible entities. For the purposes of moving legislation that authorizes Internet poker in California, we support the approach of AB 167 in permitting horse racing associations to be eligible for Internet poker operator licenses on the same terms as eligible tribes or card rooms. We anticipate that further provisions may be necessary to address the concerns of others involved in the horse racing industry, and support the development of such provisions by agreement in the industry, with any revenue split
among stakeholders to be funded by the racing association licensees without subsidy or contribution from other eligible licensees.
 
• Participation by persons or entities who engaged in unauthorized Internet gaming. We suggest an approach that looks specifically at personal participation in unauthorized gaming. Under this approach, those persons with control over a licensed operator, service provider, or marketing affiliate could not include any person who has personally participated in unauthorized gaming. This approach strikes a balance between the state's need to ensure that persons who willfully defy gaming laws not be permitted to jeopardize the integrity of Internet poker in California, while recognizing that control of an entity may change over time in a way that resolves regulatory concerns. If a company that engaged in unauthorized gaming changed ownership, regulators would be able to review the effect of that change in ownership under the bill's standards.
 
• Use of assets developed through unauthorized Internet gaming. We recognize that this is an important issue that remains to be resolved, with different approaches reflected in your respective bills. While we have not yet identified a possible consensus position, we encourage continued conversation on this important issue to identify an approach based on considerations of fairness, regulatory integrity, and legal requirements at issue.
 
• License Deposit, Duty, and Term. We believe that the four-year term proposed in AB 167 is too short to give new Internet poker operations a meaningful chance of success, particularly in light of the proposed $10 million initial deposit and 8.5% duty on gross gaming revenues. We suggest that the ten-year license term of AB 9 be used instead, combined with the higher deposit and duty requirements of AB 167.
 
• Years of Experience. We believe that two years of experience with gambling activities in good standing are sufficient to meet the State's interest in limiting Internet poker operator licenses to those with demonstrated experience in gambling activities.
 
Attached for your consideration are specific language revisions that would address the issues raised in this letter, along with technical revisions designed to clarify the language and address business workability issues. In the attached drafts, added language is underlined and removed language is stricken through. The italicized language reflects the provisions on use of assets that would need to be addressed once a consensus position has been identified. We pledge to work with your offices to achieve bill language that brings together diverse stakeholders to the middle ground on these issues for we truly believe this will be in the best interests of California and the future online poker industry of our State.
 
Thank you.
 
Sincerely,
 
Bo Mazzetti
Chairman
 
Gene Whitehouse
Chairman
 
Robert Smith
Chairman
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article No Online Poker for California in 2015
(California) -- Despite putting up a good fight, pro-online poker proponents in California saw their hopes dashed last week when the 2015 legislative session in...

9/25/2015

article BLOG: PokerStars Trapped In A “When Not If” Groundhog Day Scenario
(California) -- Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: It’s a matter of when not if [insert any online poker situation] happens. The phrase “when not...

9/23/2015

article Federal, State Lawsuits Combined in Iipay Nation Online-Gambling Battle
(California) -- Separate US federal and state cases seeking to permanently block the southern-California Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel from offering real-money online...
article Iipay Nation to Face Joint Federal and State Prosecution
(California) -- The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel will face a joint lawsuit from the federal government and the State of California that seeks to put an end to its online...
article California Legislative Session Ends Without iPoker Deal
(California) -- The California legislature ended its 2015 session without passing an iPoker deal, as it has done for the past seven years. The session officially ended...

9/16/2015

article LETTER: Gov. Brown got it right
(California) -- Every penny in California’s budget counts, and our governor just rolled the dice with our money. Recent results of negotiations between the...

9/14/2015

article BLOG: California iPoker Efforts Over For 2015
(California) -- At the start of this year there were high hopes California would soon join Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey in offering regulated online poker. That...
article GROVE: Here’s How California Can Get Online Poker Done In 2016
(California) -- The closing of the 2015 legislative session in California marks another year where regulated online poker failed to advance to a floor vote. That’s...

9/13/2015

article WEEKLY FEATURE: California Compacts
(California) -- California's Governor Jerry Brown has a much different relationship with gaming tribes than the man who had his job before him, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

9/12/2015

article California Legislative Session Closes with No Online Poker in 2015
(California) -- Today marks the official end for the possibility of online poker legislation passing in California this year. The 2015 California legislative session...

9/9/2015

article New Sycuan Gaming Compact Up For Vote Soon
(California) -- The new Sycuan gaming compact rules get a review by state lawmakers this week after the tribe and governor's office came to terms a week ago. Sycuan...
article Yuba County, Marysville after $800K pot in casino payments
(California) -- More detailed plans by Enterprise Rancheria to build a Class II casino in Yuba County have again brought into focus the matter of agreements promising...

9/8/2015

article The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation Signs New Gaming Compact With State
(California) -- The Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and Gov. Jerry Brown have inked a new tribal-state gaming compact, which addresses gaming on the Sycuan...

9/7/2015

article California’s share of Indian gambling money dwindles
(California) -- Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, beginning with the recall campaign and on through his two terms in office, repeatedly linked the state’s tribal...

9/4/2015

article San Diego’s Sycuan Tribe Permitted To Expand Gaming Operations To New Location
(California) -- San Diego's Sycuan tribe has permission to expand its casino business to a second location. The tribe's new compact with California allows the...

9/3/2015

article California Governor Updates Compact With Sycuan
(California) -- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed an updated compact with the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation near El Cajon that regulates licensing, compliance enforcement...
article Tribal Casino Deals Quickly, Quietly Sealed By Governor Brown
(California) -- In the long and contentious history of Indian gaming in California, tribal leaders think they may have finally found a governor in Jerry Brown who has a...
article Schuetz appointed to Bermuda Gaming Commission
(California) -- Richard Schuetz has been appointed as the executive director of the Bermuda Gaming Commission. Schuetz has stepped down from his role as a commissioner...

9/2/2015

article California Approves Charity Raffles At Major League Sports Events
(California) -- California’s major league sports clubs could conduct charitable gambling at professional sports venues under legislation approved Wednesday. The...
article SAC BEE: Casino deal is good enough, given constraints
(California) -- The Legislature has ratified a compact authorizing the United Auburn Indian Community to operate as many as 3,500 slot machines at its lucrative Thunder...
article Zips ahoy!: La Jolla Zip Zoom Zipline opens Friday
(California) -- Avoiding the beaches this Labor Day weekend and looking for something to do? How ‘bout ziplining in the mountains of the La Jolla Indian...

9/1/2015

article Departing California Gambling Control Commissioner Richard Schuetz Leaves Big Void for State’s Online Poker Efforts
(California) -- The California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC) has lost one of its members, one who’s been a vital player in the fight for online poker in the...

8/31/2015

article American lands Gaming Commission role
(California) -- A gaming senior executive from the United States has been appointed executive director of the Bermuda Gaming Commission. Richard Schuetz will leave his...
article Richard Schuetz Appointed Executive Director of the Bermuda Gaming Commission
(California) -- Alan Dunch, Chairman of the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission today [Aug 31] announced the appointment of Richard Schuetz as Executive Director of the...
article Pro teams push California to offer high-stakes raffles
(California) -- The pitch is for charity, but the call could favor California's professional sports teams. California's major league sports clubs and a leading raffle...

8/25/2015

article United Auburn tribal deal proves popular with lawmakers
(California) -- A revamped casino deal between the state and the tribe that operates Thunder Valley Casino Resort received heavy praise at its first legislative hearing...
article BLOG: California Pushing Hardest for Online Poker but Continues to Stall
(California) -- When looking at which states are making the greatest push towards legalized online poker regulation, California is always at the top of the list. For the...

8/21/2015

article Thunder Valley tribe's revamped pact with state to benefit Placer County
(California) -- The Auburn-based Indian tribe that owns Thunder Valley Resort and Casino could soon be operating the Lincoln area gambling business under a revised...

8/18/2015

article Editorial: Lottery should drop play-at-pump scheme
(California) -- The California Lottery wants to make it easier for you to play — and lose your money. As part of a pilot program, motorists can buy tickets at the...

8/17/2015

article Late Push For California Online Poker A ‘Herculean’ Task, Legislative Sources Say
(California) -- A late effort by a group of American Indian tribes, card rooms, Amaya/PokerStars and the horse racing industry to get an online poker bill out of the...
article United Auburn Indian Community to add $15m to California state fund per year
(California) -- Under a new tribal-state gaming compact, the United Auburn Indian Community will add an annual $15m to the California state fund. Gov. Edmund Brown Jr....

8/16/2015

article Mercury News editorial: California Lottery going right for your bank account
(California) -- The California Lottery wants to make it easier for you to play -- and lose your money. As part of a pilot program, motorists can buy tickets at the gas...

8/15/2015

article State signs new gambling compact with tribe that owns Thunder Valley
(California) -- The tribe that owns Thunder Valley Casino Resort near Lincoln signed a new compact Friday with California that will potentially increase its slot...
article Governor Brown Signs Compact with United Auburn Indian Community
(California) -- Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that he has signed a tribal-state gaming compact between the State of California and the United Auburn...
article No Piece of Online Gambling Pie Yet For California Racetracks
(California) -- The future is long and bleak for the horse racing industry in California that wants a seat at the online gambling table. Ed Comins, president of...
article Opinion: Uniform drug test rules needed to level field for horse racing
(California) -- We Californians can count ourselves lucky for a number of reasons – the temperate weather, the stunning landscapes, and, for those of us in the...

8/12/2015

article Colusa Indian Community suing for damages and expenses due to alleged shoddy casino work
(Washington) -- The Colusa Indian Community, also known as the Cahil Dehe Band of Wintun Indians, is currently seeking millions of dollars due to what the tribe is...

8/11/2015

article Complaint filed against Henderson slot route operator
(Nevada) -- The Nevada Gaming Control Board has filed a 13-count complaint against the owner of a slot machine route company in Henderson, accusing him of failing to...
article Cabazon Band offers free play gaming website and mobile app
(California) -- The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians in California launched a free play gaming website and mobile application. The website and app offer the same slot...

8/10/2015

article Professional poker players compete in Turlock tournament in push for Internet poker legislation
(California) -- Nearly 200 people from around the region crowded into the Turlock Poker Room on Sunday for their opportunity to challenge two of the game’s best...

8/9/2015

article Online Poker Proponents Are Rooting for California
(California) -- Last week, World Poker Tour superstars gathered together at American Canyon in Napa for an initiative called “Let California Play,” a poker...

8/7/2015

article Fantasy Springs resort rolls out free online casino
(California) -- Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is making a free, online social casino a virtual reality. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, the Indio area tribe that own...

8/5/2015

article BLOG: If You Can’t Join ‘Em, Beat ‘Em: Stakeholders Plan California Online Poker Push
(California) -- It’s becoming increasingly apparent the numerous stakeholders in the California online poker debate are never going to reach a consensus on the two...

8/3/2015

article American Indians, Tracks, Card Rooms To Press For Online Poker Despite Pechanga Coalition
(California) -- Five American Indian tribes are pressing forward on Internet poker legislation in California, hoping to overcome the political clout of what some...
article Another Gambling Company Grabs California Online Poker Partnership
(California) -- Efforts to legalize real-money online poker in California this year are likely dead, but that doesn’t mean stakeholders in a future industry there...
article Top card sharps lobby for online poker in Citrus Heights
(California) -- Like the card sharps of the Old West, three of the brightest stars in the poker galaxy rode into Citrus Heights’ Stones Gambling Hall on Sunday to...
article Adam Gray: A canny California politician forges his own path
(California) -- Marc Levine’s bill was about to get buried, and he almost wasn’t in the room to see it. Levine, a Democratic assemblyman from San Rafael,...
article Sale of lottery tickets at gas pumps fuels concerns over gambling
(California) -- Drivers in California now can shove their credit card into a gas pump and come away with more than fuel — they can buy lottery tickets. And that...

7/31/2015

article Poker stars come to Fresno, Clovis to support online poker legislation
(California) -- Is online poker coming to California? The matter has been kicking around Sacramento for years, but so far it has been a losing bet. The major sticking...
article 888 Strengthening Position In Potential California Online Poker Market With Bay 101 Partnership
(California) -- 888 is the predominant operator in the three legal United States markets. In two of those markets, Nevada and Delaware, the company has a veritable...
article Churchill Downs Partners with California Card Room in Anticipation of iGaming
(California) -- California may not offer online poker gaming just yet, but that has not stopped companies and gaming operators from creating partnerships in...

7/30/2015

article Churchill has Calif. partner if I-gambling OK'd
(California) -- Should California approve legislation allowing its residents to gamble on the Internet, Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. has a partner to enter that...

7/26/2015

article Poker stars promote online gaming laws in American Canyon
(California) -- The sound of players shuffling and stacking poker chips filled the card room at Napa Valley Casino like a symphony of chirping cricket Saturday, but this...
article Soulja Boy’s World Poker Fund Holdings Hires Gaming Expert
(California) -- Hip-hop artist and tattoo fan, Soulja Boy, has an interest in the online poker world according to recent reports. The American musician has a number of...

7/24/2015

article Record sales for California lottery in just-finished fiscal year
(California) -- The California Lottery posted more than $5.5 billion in total sales during the fiscal year ending June 30, its highest sales total ever and about 10...

7/22/2015

article California Games / Tribes, card rooms locked in dispute
(California) -- When Vic Taucer, a prominent gambling industry table game consultant, visited six Bay Area card rooms in March and April of 2014, he said he was...
article California, Here We Come
(California) -- HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars in state tax revenue. Thousands of new jobs. Secure government regulation. Freedom to earn a living. Those are just four...
article Soulja Boy’s World Poker Fund hires Martin Owens as iGaming advisor
(California) -- World Poker Fund Holdings (WPFH), the poker and entertainment business backed by rapper Soulja Boy, has hired Martin Owens to advise the company as it...

7/18/2015

article California Online Poker to Receive One Final Chance in August
(California) -- California online poker and an ensuing interstate player liquidity compact has the potential to launch a thriving iPoker market in the United States, but...

7/17/2015

article Reggie Jones-Sawyer Reportedly Reschedules AB 167 California iPoker Hearing
(California) -- California State Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer is reported to have rescheduled a once-cancelled hearing on the latest version of his online-poker...
article Should California legalize online gambling?
(California) -- Chances are, you don't know their faces and probably don't know their names, but in the world of poker, a couple of big stars are in town and...

7/16/2015

article California iPoker Bill to Get August Hearing Date
(California) -- Online poker legislation introduced by California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer will likely receive a hearing date sometime between August 17-31.
article iPoker Hearing in the works for California in Late August
(California) -- While the month of July saw an iPoker hearing crumble in the state of California, officials are gearing up to try again in August. Just a few weeks ago,...

7/14/2015

article California Assemblyman Reschedules iPoker Bill for August Hearing
(California) -- So you’re saying there’s a chance? A week after pulling it from a July 8th hearing, California Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer announced his...
article Hopes of Online Poker in California Dimming for This Year
(California) -- As the summer progresses, various stakeholders in the push to legalize iPoker in California seem just as far apart as they were at the beginning of the...

7/7/2015

article California Tracks Not Impressed With Pechanga’s “Olive Branch”
(California) -- California racing industry officials say a revenue sharing “olive branch” on Internet poker extended by a coalition of American Indian tribes...

7/6/2015

article California bill suspended
(California) -- Bill AB9, introduced by assemblyman Mike Gatto, has fallen by the wayside leaving AB167 and AB431, proposed by assemblymen Reggie Jones-Sawyer and Adam...
article PokerStars to raise awareness for iPoker with California poker tour
(California) -- PokerStars has announced plans for a new poker tour in California, featuring a host of its sponsored celebrity poker players, to create awareness for...

7/3/2015

article Assemblyman Gatto gives up on Californian online poker bill
(California) -- Assemblyman Mike Gatto has announced that he is to give up on attempting to pass a bill that would legalise online poker in the US state of California,...
article Gatto Cancels California iPoker Hearing as Negotiations Languish
(California) -- California State Assemblyman Mike Gatto has cancelled an upcoming iPoker hearing before the State Assembly’s “GO” (Governmental...
article Gatto: Canceling Hearing On California Online Poker Bill ‘Right Thing To Do’
(California) -- Assemblyman Mike Gatto has given up on attempting to pass his bill that would regulate online poker in California, saying that a consensus on how to...

7/2/2015

article Soulja Boy’s World Poker Fund aims to bring poker to the people
(California) -- World Poker Fund Holdings (WPFH), a new California-based poker and entertainment company backed by popular recording artist Soulja Boy, has set out plans...

6/30/2015

article BLOG: California iPoker Regulation Still Seems Like It’s Going Nowhere After Latest Hearing
(California) -- An informational hearing about online poker in the California legislature brought together many of the key stakeholders, but it provided little reason...

6/29/2015

blog 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...
article BLOG: Analyzing the Pechanga Compromises to the Horse Racing Industry
(California) -- This past week, the California Assembly GO Committee held the third of four hearings on online poker. This hearing brought together stakeholders from...

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