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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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4/22/2016

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4/20/2016

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2/26/2016

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2/25/2016

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2/22/2016

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2/19/2016

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2/15/2016

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2/14/2016

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2/13/2016

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2/11/2016

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2/8/2016

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1/22/2016

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1/21/2016

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1/17/2016

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1/15/2016

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1/13/2016

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1/11/2016

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1/8/2016

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1/7/2016

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(California) -- The California state legislature returned to the topic of state-regulated online gambling yesterday, by hearing testimony and debate regarding two of...
article BLOG: California iPoker Falters As DFS Bill Makes Progress
(California) -- At the start of 2016, there were high hopes that the slow push towards regulated iPoker in the USA would receive a boost from the state of California. On...
article BLOG: California Online Poker Bill Overlooked in Favor of DFS
(California) -- California online poker remains a distant dream for millions, after a scheduled hearing was unexpectedly canceled earlier this week. After months of...
article Tribes in California call for hearing on Internet poker legislation
(California) -- The California Nations Indian Gaming Association is calling on lawmakers to move forward with consideration of an Internet poker bill. AB 167 was due for...

1/6/2016

article California Online Poker Bill Pulled From Hearing
(California) -- The first week of 2016 was set to have an online poker bill in California considered in a hearing, but the proposal unfortunately has been pulled from...
article California online poker bill taken off another hearing agenda
(California) -- A bill seeking to legalise online poker in California has seemingly once again been removed from the agenda of a Governmental Organization (GO) Committee...

1/4/2016

article BLOG: California Online Poker Bill to Be Early 2016 Topic in State Legislature
(California) -- Those hoping for a California online poker bill to pass early in 2016 probably shouldn’t hold their breath. But residents and visitors of the...
article California To Consider Online Poker Bill Wednesday
(California) -- One of several bills that were introduced in California last year aiming to legalize and regulate online poker will have a hearing this week.
article California’s Assembly Committee 2016 Gambling Bill Hearing’s
(California) -- California’s Assembly Committee is going to have a busy week, this coming week. A hearing that will take place on Jan. 6 will discuss several...

12/31/2015

article California Assembly Committee Prepares for Gaming Hearing January 6th
(California) -- On January 6th, the California Governmental Oversight Committee will be holding a hearing to discuss several gaming measures for the state. Bills will be...
article California Committee To Consider Online Poker, Daily Fantasy Sports Bills Jan. 6
(Las Vegas) -- A California Assembly committee will consider several possible gaming measures in the state — online poker, daily fantasy sports and sports betting...

12/28/2015

article California Online Poker in 2015: A Look at the Golden State’s Politics, Factions, and Marketing
(California) -- The possibility for California online poker in 2015 began with a sense of optimism for regulation in the Golden State. Despite the numerous divisions of...

12/24/2015

article Konocti Vista Casino implements new minimum wage early
(California) -- Effective Jan. 1, 2016, California state law requires all business (with few exceptions) to pay their employees a minimum wage of $10 per hour. Konocti...
article Minimum wage increase worries small businesses
(California) -- Come January, Mother Lode employers will join the rest of California and pay minimum wage workers the highest state-mandated minimum wage in the country...

12/23/2015

article Rincon’s Stallings elected chairman of Indian gaming association
(California) -- Steve Stallings, a council member of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians has been elected chairman of the Cali­fornia Nations Indian Gaming...

12/15/2015

article County, Samish Indian Nation sign compensation agreement
(Washington) -- The Board of County Commissioners signed an agreement Monday with the Samish Indian Nation that allows for Skagit County to be compensated for lost taxes...

12/6/2015

article Intertribal judges ruled in favor of Pasqua family
(California) -- The effort to secure lots assigned to Geraldine Pasqua on the Bishop Paiute Reservation started in 1981. The battle ended November 2 with a ruling in...

11/30/2015

article Cahuilla Band's Mountain Sky Travel Center Open for Business
(California) -- Travelers through Riverside County in southern California will have easy access to a gas station, smoke shop, convenience store and fast food at the...

11/16/2015

article Bishop Paiute Tribe loses ruling in casino expansion dispute
(California) -- The Bishop Paiute Tribe cannot expand its casino onto land assigned to one of its members, the Intertribal Court of Southern California Court of Appeals...

11/14/2015

article Check or Bet: How is online poker connected to horse racing?
(California) -- On the surface, it doesn't seem to make sense, but the leaders at Del Mar race track say if you want to see the biggest names in horse racing like...
article Check or Bet: How safe can online poker really be?
(California) -- Everyone who supports legalizing Internet poker says the biggest reason behind the push is so it's safe for Californians to play. As poker superstar...
article Check or Bet: The battle to legalize online poker in California
(California) -- Last week, the poker world crowned a new world champion. This year the crown went to a Pennsylvanian, but just like every year, the World Series of Poker...
article Check or Bet: Who opposes legalizing online poker in Calfornia ... and why?
(California) -- Plenty of people support the legalization of online poker in California. But there are two sides to every story, and there are plenty of people against...
article Check or Bet: Who wants a seat at the online poker table?
(California) -- Most people who have studied online gaming think that California is the best state in the country to support online poker. They say when it was legal,...
article Check or Bet: Why are fantasy sports a factor in legalizing online poker?
(California) -- You might not think of poker and fantasy sports being similar, but they have a lot in common. And when a fantasy sports scandal broke out this fall,...
article Check or Bet: Why the drive to legalize online poker in California?
(California) -- There are two main reasons why legalizing online poker has become a major issue in California. The first is that there are hundreds of millions of...
article Intertribal court rules in favor of Napoles family
(California) -- Family has rights to land needed for Paiute Palace Casino expansion. The Intertribal Court of Southern California Court of Appeals threw a new wrench in...

11/13/2015

article As gambling surges in California, treatment for compulsive players lags
(California) -- The San Diego woman once considered herself one of the millions of Californians who infrequently gamble for fun. That life came crashing down amid a...

11/8/2015

article At Barona, employees are like family
(California) -- When Daniel Ukang arrived in the United States in 2001 as a refugee from Sudan, he had no idea what a casino was, much less how to pick a good company to...

11/5/2015

press release Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians Named Title Sponsor of the Western Indian Gaming Conference
(California) -- The California Nations Indian Gaming Association is pleased to announce that the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians has chosen to be the Title Sponsor of the...

10/31/2015

article California Indian Gaming Reaches $7 Billion Again
(California) -- American Indian gaming in California hit $7 billion again in 2013, according to Casino City Press, the gaming publisher based in Newton, Massachusetts....

10/27/2015

article Dispute over $36.2M in gaming compact overpayments won by Pauma Band
(California) -- The Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians is owed $36.2 million by the state of California, according to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals which ruled on Monday...

10/26/2015

article Pauma Tribe Owed $36.2M for California Gaming-License Snafu
(California) -- California misrepresented how many gaming licenses were available when negotiating a contract for casino-style gambling on an Indian tribe's land,...

10/16/2015

article San Pasqual Band can't claim damages in gaming dispute with state
(California) -- An appeals court ruled last week that the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians won't be able to seek $315 million in damages from the state of...

10/6/2015

article Tribe reveals details of new casino
(California) -- A 25,000-square-foot casino planned just across the river from Lake Havasu City would have 320 gaming machines and six tables, according to documents...
article Calif. Court Bars Tribe's $315M Casino Suit Against State [sub req]
(California) -- A California appeals court on Monday unanimously upheld a trial court’s ruling that a gaming compact between the state and a tribe bars the latter...
article San Pasqual Band loses claim for damages in gaming dispute
(California) -- The San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians cannot seek $315 million in damages from the state of California, an appeals court ruled on Monday. For seven...

10/1/2015

article Judge’s ruling clears way for Ione tribe to establish Amador casino
(California) -- A Sacramento federal judge has ratified the U.S. government’s decision to take 228 acres of Amador County land into trust so an Indian tribe can...

9/30/2015

article Card club owners accused of hiding loan
(California) -- State gambling regulators last week accused longtime owners of a Chula Vista card club of failing to disclose a $3 million loan used to construct a new...

9/29/2015

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...

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