Tribes in California call for hearing on Internet poker legislation

The California State Assembly in Sacramento. Photo by David Monniaux via Wikipedia

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 a hearing on Wednesday but was pulled from the schedule at the last minute. Instead, the Assembly's Governmental Organization Committee advanced a different measure to regulate fantasy sports, an emerging industry that has generated significant media coverage in the last few months.

"The regulation of fantasy sports is well intended," CNIGA President Steve Stallings said in a press release. "However, the state needs to prove it can deal with one online game – I-Poker -- before it takes on others."

Lawmakers have been debating Internet poker bills for several years without much success. Tribes, meanwhile, remain divided on whether to legalize online games, with some of the more politically connected tribes opposed altogether.

The issue will be on the agenda for CNIGA's Western Indian Gaming Conference next month.

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