Robert Smith: California must shut down illegal Internet cafes

Robert Smith, the chairman of the California Tribal Business Alliance and chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, calls on state to shut down non-Indian Internet cafes:
According to the American Gaming Association, Internet cafes have experienced viral growth throughout the country, pulling in about $10 billion in profits without having to pay gaming taxes or licensing fees. The true extent of these operations is unknown since they do not report revenues generated.

These illicit businesses divert revenues from state-licensed gaming organizations, which provide more than $1 million a day to the general fund. These resources pay for things like basic health services, education and infrastructure development within the state budget. On a local level, casinos also pay for social services, recreation programs and law enforcement enhancement as part of their agreements with cities.

Still, Internet cafes are tax-free, unregulated, and the managers are not required to pass criminal background checks. There is no assurance or protection to consumers that owners operate in a fair and clean manner, or to the highest standards by which the regulated gaming industry is set.

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Robert Smith: California's Indian tribes denounce Internet gambling cafes (The Pasadena Star-News 8/8)

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