Column: California tribes on board with push for Internet poker

Columnist says California tribes are finally coming together to push for the legalization of Internet poker:
Now a critical mass of California tribes has come to agreement. One by one, the chairs of seven of the state's most influential tribes -- the operators of its largest casinos -- testified that the tribes are approaching a consensus. Their key condition is that only institutions now licensed to conduct gambling in California be eligible to purchase a license to conduct online poker.

Gaming tribes are among the most generous contributors to political campaigns in California. They give to elected officials of both parties, and they have a singular policy focus: protecting the constitutional monopoly on casino gambling that voters gave them.

When they speak with one voice on any gambling issue, Sacramento pays attention. So, there is now a chance -- not as good a chance as California Chrome has of winning the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, perhaps, but no longer a long shot -- that an Internet poker bill will emerge from the Legislature this year.

Some Democrats and Republicans on the panel were virtually tripping over themselves last week to get onboard. Others were marginally less enthusiastic. GOP Assemblyman Scott Wilk, who represents Simi Valley, told me he's open to the idea, but suggested it might be best to wait a year.

Get the Story:
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