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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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California Gaming

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8/8/2016

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7/5/2016

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7/3/2016

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7/1/2016

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6/30/2016

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6/29/2016

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6/27/2016

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6/26/2016

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6/24/2016

article California's Internet poker bill heads to full Assembly
(California) -- Legislation that would legalize Internet poker in California and provide California racing interests with a $60 million annual subsidy passed the...
article Lawmakers Seeking Pound Of Flesh From PokerStars For Entry Into California Online Poker Market
(California) -- California lawmakers appear intent on extracting a pound of flesh from international online gambling giant Amaya/PokerStars as legislation to tax and...

6/23/2016

article California online poker bill passes committee, heads to full Assembly
(California) -- It's been nearly a decade in the making, but an online poker bill in California is finally heading to a full Assembly for a possible vote after...

6/22/2016

article Amendments To California Online Poker Bill Include New Bad Actor Date
(California) -- PokerNews has obtained a copy of the amendments that the California Assembly Appropriations Committee is expected to make to online poker legislation...
article California assembly to vote on online poker bill following committee approval
(California) -- California’s online poker bill is headed for a vote on the state Assembly floor after a favorable vote by the Assembly Appropriations committee.
article California Online Poker Bill Clears Another Hurdle, Heads To Assembly Floor
(California) -- The California Assembly Appropriations Committee passed a bill regulating online poker in the state on Wednesday, sending it to the full chamber for a...

6/21/2016

article Game On In California: Vote On Online Poker Bill Likely To Happen Wednesday
(California) -- Last week, the poker world expected the California Assembly Appropriations Committee to vote on ab online poker bill, AB 2863, during the hearing.
article PALERMO: Tribal Survey Shows California Voters Oppose Online Poker
(California) -- A survey commissioned by a coalition of California American Indian tribes critical of draft legislation to legalize online poker found 52 percent of the...

6/17/2016

article Major Tribes Opposed California iPoker Bill Amendments
(California) -- A series of amendments added to a bill that would legalize iPoker in California were not enough to get six key tribes on board, likely dooming the bill...
article Vote on California online poker delayed
(California) -- A vote was not held at a hearing for a bill aiming to legalise online poker in California. The bill, AB 2863, was introduced by Assemblyman Adam Gray in...
article Casinos raising the stakes to expand customer appeal
(California) -- When Pala Casino Spa & Resort recently opened a 10-acre, $6.1 million RV Resort, it joined a growing trend of Native American casinos in the region...

6/16/2016

article PALERMO: Tribal Lobbying Conflict Over California Online Poker Growing Volatile
(California) -- The political clout of seven American Indian casino tribes is being put to the test in what is shaping up to be a volatile lobbying war over a draft...
article Online Poker Bill In California Receives Stiff Opposition From Indian Tribes
(California) -- Gaming analysts were confident back in 2014 that California would legalize online poker and follow in the footsteps of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.

6/15/2016

article California Continues To Ponder Online Poker
(California) -- Lawmakers in California’s Assembly Appropriations Committee held an hour-long hearing Wednesday on a bill seeking to legalize and regulate online...
article California Online Poker Bill Delayed, But Vote Could Still Happen This Month
(California) -- The California online poker bill suffered a bit of a setback on Wednesday, as a planned vote did not occur in the Assembly Appropriations Committee....
article California online poker bill vote delayed to consider new ‘bad actor’ amendment
(California) -- California legislators punted on voting on the state’s online poker bill but promised to try again within the next two weeks. On Wednesday, the...
article Setback in California: Vote for Online Poker Bill Postponed
(California) -- Online poker legislation in California entered Wednesday's Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing with one issue left to be resolved. At the end...

6/14/2016

article Consensus Might Not Be Necessary To Pass An Online Poker Bill In California
(California) -- To use the terminology of Rincon councilman and California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) Chairman Steve Stallings, a “fully cooked...
article POKER BLOG: California Online Poker Bill Suddenly Gathers Support Ahead of Tomorrow’s Hearing
(California) -- California’s eternally divisive online poker bill has suddenly gathered some serious backing, thanks to a series of amendments that address the...

6/13/2016

article California Online Poker Bill Up For Committee Vote This Week, But With Uncertain Future
(California) -- California will try once again to advance legislation to legalize and regulate online poker, but with differences that still need to be resolved.

6/11/2016

article California Online Poker Bill Gets Unprecedented Support From Growing Coalition
(California) -- A coalition of 21 California tribes, card rooms, racetracks and unions sent a letter on Friday supporting AB 2863, the online poker bill authored by...

6/10/2016

article PALERMO: Gray’s Changes To California Online Poker Bill May Not Appease Politically Powerful Tribes
(California) -- Tax and license suitability amendments to proposed online poker legislation in California intended to appease rival American Indian tribes will need some...
article PALERMO: Tribal Group: Recent Amendments “Force Us To Oppose” California Online Poker Bill
(California) -- A politically powerful coalition of six American Indian tribes announced Friday its opposition to suitability and tax provisions of recently amended...
article PokerStars’ California Coalition Welcomes Progress On Adam Gray’s Bill To Legalize Online Poker
(California) -- The coalition of California gaming interests which includes Amaya, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and...

6/8/2016

article BLOG: California Online Poker Bill Amendments Filed
(California) -- There’s the tiniest bit of movement on the online-poker legislative front in California, where a significant number of amendments to the current...
article California Online Poker Bill Amendments Clear Up License Fees, Tax Rates, And Suitability
(California) -- The groundswell of momentum we’ve been seeing on the online gaming front in New York and Pennsylvania has now reached the west coast. A heavily...
article California online poker bill faces further changes
(California) -- A bill that would legalise online poker in California, which passed by a vote of 18-0 through the California Assembly Governmental Organisation in April...

6/7/2016

article California online poker bill amendments would lower bar to PokerStars’ entry
(California) -- California’s faint-hope online poker bill could be amended to make it more likely that Amaya Gaming’s PokerStars brand would be deemed...
article PokerStars In California: What's In The Cards For 2016?
(California) -- California card rooms, racetracks and tribal coalitions are all after a piece of the pie and traditionally pull in different directions in a bid to look...
article Proposed Amendments Bring California Online Poker Bill Into Focus, But Do Changes Represent Collective Compromise?
(California) -- A series of proposed amendments to California’s current online poker initiative offer greater definition for AB 2863 around key issues such as tax...

6/2/2016

article California iPoker Bill Moves Forward in Assembly
(California) -- California Rep. Adam Gray’s bill, AB 2863, which would legalize and create a regulatory framework for online poker in the Golden State, is moving...

5/24/2016

article Court upholds former California senator’s voter fraud conviction
(California) -- A Los Angeles County appeals court on Tuesday upheld former state Sen. Rod Wright’s conviction on charges of perjury and voter fraud.

5/19/2016

article EDITORIAL: Gray deserves to be re-elected to Assembly
(California) -- Technically, Assemblyman Adam Gray has an opponent for his 21st District seat. Technically, he could lose this election in on June 7. Practically...

5/18/2016

article “Fully Cooked” California Online Poker Bill May Go to Assembly Committee June 151
(California) -- A California online poker bill with a tax rate acceptable to stakeholders and license suitability language to appease rival American Indian coalitions...
article CHAMBERS: Gray’s legislation will help clarify complicated relationship between horse racing and gaming
(California) -- The Modesto Bee’s editorial “Gray’s deal a sure winner for casinos, tracks” criticizing legislation introduced by Assemblymember...

5/17/2016

article Former California regulator forfeits gaming license, pays $75k to resolve probe
(California) -- The former head of a California gaming regulatory body has agreed to surrender his card room licenses and pay a hefty fine to resolve allegations that he...

5/16/2016

article BLOG: New Online Poker Hearing Scheduled in California
(California) -- The issue of online poker regulation will be brought up again in California’s legal channels, as a new hearing has been scheduled for May 18th. The...

5/14/2016

article California Online Poker Bill To Have May 18 Hearing
(California) -- California’s nine-year-old online poker debate will take place in public view again in a hearing planned for May 18. The Assembly Appropriations...
article STALLINGS: Governor, feds have agreed to Indian gaming on acquired land
(California) -- The opinions expressed in The Sacramento Bee’s editorial “State is no potted plant in casino decisions” (Editorials, May 10) are very...

5/10/2016

article County’s Tribal Casino Challenge Lacking, Judge Says [sub req]
(California) -- A D.C. federal judge on Tuesday appeared poised to deny a California county’s request to block a proposed casino for the Mechoopda Native American...

5/9/2016

article SACBEE: Californians are not potted plants in Indian casino negotiations
(California) -- California-based Indian tribes have every right to operate casinos on reservations, so long as the governor, the Legislature and, on occasion, the...

5/7/2016

article Bill blocks Class III gaming at two specific off-reservation casinos
(California) -- The text of the H.R.5079, the California Compact Protection Act, is finally online and it reveals some extremely tailored yet twisted language aimed at...

5/6/2016

article BLOG: US Senator Dianne Feinstein Weighs in on California Online Poker, Says It’s a Mistake for the Golden State
(California) -- Online poker in California is a terrible idea. That’s what United States Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) thinks, anyway. The 82-year old...

5/2/2016

article California online poker bill moves forward
(California) -- Online poker legislation in California took its biggest step to date this week with the unanimous passage of a fully formed bill through the Assembly...
article Tribe's Bad Faith Claims Face High Hurdle At High Court [sub req]
(California) -- A California tribe faces more than just the significant barriers written into the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act on bad faith claims in its bid to convince...
article Federal decision paves the way for new Northern California casino
(California) -- Northern California could soon be home to a new casino after Federal officials approved a controversial plan to take into trust 62 acres of land in...

4/30/2016

article California online poker bill moves forward
(California) -- Online poker legislation in California took its biggest step to date this week with the unanimous passage of a fully formed bill through the Assembly...

4/29/2016

article PALERMO: With Racing Issue Somewhat Settled, California Online Poker Debate Now Pivots On Suitability Divisions
(California) -- A coalition of politically powerful American Indian tribes led by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians is apparently winning the lobby war on iPoker...
article Internet poker inches closer to legalization in California
(California) -- After years of gridlock, a bill that would help legalize Internet poker in California advanced out of a legislative committee on Wednesday after its...

4/28/2016

article California Online Poker Bill Passes GO Committee with Unanimous Vote
(California) -- Online poker legislation in California took its biggest step to date on Wednesday with the unanimous passage of a fully formed bill through the Assembly...
article Online Poker Has Clearly Made Headway In California, But Perspective Is Needed
(California) -- There were plenty of reasons to be optimistic over the course of yesterday’s two hour online poker hearing in front of the California Assembly...
article Legislators, casino interests smell money with online gambling bill
(California) -- Once again, insiders are smelling money and are all-in to pass a bill they cynically call the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2016.

4/27/2016

article California Online Poker Hearing: Live Reporting, April 27
(California) -- US Poker will post continuous updates of today’s hearing in front of the California Assembly GO (Governmental Organization) Committee, scheduled...
article Can The Various Coalitions In California Converge To Get Online Poker Passed?
(California) -- On Wednesday, the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee will host a hearing to discuss GO Committee Chairman Adam Gray’s online...

4/25/2016

article BLOG: Horseracing Industry Offers California Poker Bill Unbridled Support
(California) -- California’s horse racing industry has officially thrown its weight behind Assemblyman Adam Gray’s online poker bill (AB 2863). Nine industry...

4/24/2016

article California racing could reap $60 million annually if Internet poker legalized
(California) -- California horse racing could gain $60 million annually through legislation that would permit Internet poker and compensate racing for the loss of...

4/22/2016

article Cali Horse Racing Industry Pledges Support of Online Poker Bill AB 2863 Via Letter
(California) -- The California horse racing industry has come out in official support of online poker bill AB 2863 in advance of next week's hearing in the Assembly...
article California Online Poker Bill Amended
(California) -- The California online poker bill set for a hearing next week was amended Wednesday, surely in hopes of the latest version being the one to finally end...

4/21/2016

article California Online Poker Bill Gets Last Minute Amendment Ahead Of Hearing Next Week
(California) -- Just a week before a scheduled hearing in front of the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, Chairman Adam Gray’s online poker...

4/20/2016

article Council tables casino action
(California) -- The Ridgecrest City Council voted Wednesday to table the discussion of a casino in Ridgecrest until a special meeting next Wednesday. “I am not...

4/18/2016

article California Online Poker Hearing Set For April 27
(California) -- On Wednesday, April 27, California will hold another online poker hearing in hopes of beginning the process of ending a political stalemate on the issue...
article Council to talk casino
(California) -- The Ridgecrest City Council at their meeting Wednesday will decide whether or not to authorize City Manager Dennis Speer to execute a municipal service...

4/14/2016

article Online Poker Legalization Bill In California Could Come Up For Hearing In Less Than A Week
(California) -- The California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee could hold a hearing on the online poker bill AB 2863 as early as April 20 according to...

4/13/2016

article California Online Poker Hearing Could Take Place Next Week; PokerStars Coalition Sends Letter of Support
(California) -- The California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee is planning to hold an informational hearing on Assemblyman Adam Gray’s online poker...

4/12/2016

article California To Have Online Poker Hearing This Month
(California) -- An amended online poker bill in California will have a hearing by the end of April, a tribal gaming insider told Card Player. The goal will be to move it...
article PokerStars Is Feeling The California Heat In The Wake Of Amaya Insider Trading Charges
(California) -- To the surprise of no one, the insider trading charges filed by Canadian regulators against Amaya CEO David Baazov are already having a negative impact...

3/25/2016

article COLUMN: What in the world is going on with craps tables in California?
(California) -- Dear Mark: So I go to the craps table at Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs, as it is my favorite casino endeavor. I place $20 on the Pass line. Being the...

3/24/2016

article California Online Poker: Can Legalization Happen In 2016?
(California) -- Legal online poker has been on the table for years in California, but there has been precious little progress despite a lot of chatter, and a number of...
article Rincon tribal member delivers address at gaming association meeting
(California) -- Recently Steve Stallings, who serves on the Rincon Tribal Council, was elected chairman of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, an...

3/22/2016

article Supreme Court asked by California to hear Pauma Band compact case
(California) -- On October 26 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state of California owes the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians $36.2 million and declined to...

3/14/2016

article OP/ED: State tries again to legalize, regulate online poker
(California) -- California, after roughly a decade of toying with online-poker legislation, may finally be ready to go all-in on a legalization bill this year.

3/9/2016

article Significant progress in getting online poker in California, but major hurdles remain
(California) -- 10News.com sources confirm that a series of recent events have led to big steps forward in the effort to legalize online poker in California. While...
article The Next Steps For Adam Gray’s Online Poker Bill In California
(California) -- With the introduction of a new online poker bill on February 19, just squeaking in ahead of the legislative deadline to introduce bills for 2016,...

3/5/2016

article BLOG: Record Tribal Gaming Revenue Could Hinder California iGaming
(California) -- Tribal gaming revenue hit record levels in 2014 which may help to explain why California’s online poker bills are having a hard time getting passed...
article California Compromise?
(California) -- Another iPoker bill has surfaced in the California legislature that tries to bring the disparate stakeholders together. It includes a $60 million bone...

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