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Pechanga Coalition Derails California Online Poker Hearing Vote

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Staff member
Jan 14, 2008
A California online poker bill was expected to pass through the Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing in Sacramento on Wednesday for a date on the Assembly floor.
But it didn’t quite work out that way when the obstructionist Pechanga coalition made its presence felt.
The amendments introduced suitability language that defined “bad actors” as operators that offered gambling to Americans after December 31, 2011, rather than December 31, 2006, as had previously been the case.

The 2006 cut-off date relates to the passage of the (UIGEA), which made it illegal for financial institutions to
process online gambling payments for American customers. The revised 2011 date relates to the DOJ opinion that the
Wire Act prohibited online Sports Betting only, and not online poker, opening the door for states to legalize online play.

Unsuitable Suitability

The new language would allow PokerStars to join a future regulated Golden State market, a fact that was never going to go down well with the Pechanga coalition.
It had been hoped, however, that a prohibition on PokerStars using its previous customer list from the days when it operated in California might be an acceptable concession,
but such was not the case.

Representing the six-strong Pechanga tribal coalition, Jeff Grubbe, the chairman of the Agua Caliente tribe, wasted no time in stating the coalition’s opposition to the bill.