California iPoker Gaming Could Benefit from Indian Country Online Congress

CaliforniaFollowing the progression of online poker has been a slow one in the state of California as interested parties cannot seem to come an agreement as to how the industry should unfold. From card rooms to tribal groups and race tracks, no consensus has been made on the subject. This means that online poker legislation has yet to move forward in the state. The Indian Country Online Congress is scheduled to take place in just a few days, with many hoping this will be the starting point for a turn around on the subject of iPoker.

On the 10th and 11th of June, the conference will be in its third year in a row, in Pala California at the Pala Casino Spa and Resort. The event has invited several tribal gaming groups in the United States to come together to discuss gaming, including online options. Over 30 speakers will be taking part in iGaming discussions from all avenues of the industry.

During the conference, six different panels will take place. The iPolitics panel is going to be the highlight of the conference, set to discuss the current landscape of iGaming legislation as well as options for the state of California.

The description of the panel at the conference website reads that as iGaming is legal in three states of the US, the interest in entering the industry has cooled considering new jurisdictions. California could be the state that breaks the ‘logjam’ so to speak when it comes to online poker in the US. This panel will be the last one of the day and will feature the following speakers:

  • Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission Jonodev Chaudhuri
  • Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association Ernest L. Stevens, Jr.

Stevens commented in regards to the panel that as Internet gaming progresses, the National Indian Gaming Association’s Internet Gaming Principles will continue to guide that progression. The strength of the group comes from the unity of tribal leaders and Member Tribes.

Additional panels of the conference include: iPlayer, iStrategy, iMoble, iSkill/Social and iFantasy/iSports. With the iPlayer panel, the gambler will be looked at in an online role as well as how they are different from land-based players. With the iStrategy panel, ideas of how tribes can generate strategy for online gaming will be discussed.

iMobile would of course discuss mobile technology and how it can be used for online gaming while the Skill and Social section would cover revenue opportunities outside the traditional realm of casino gaming and poker. The Fantasy/Sports section would cover the casino and fantasy sports realm of gaming.

The panels have a positive tone for the industry and will offer a nice group of speakers to help push the industry forward when it comes to online gaming. The conference is essentially in position for all tribal interests in the United States but all eyes seem to be on the industry based in California and how the state can become involved in online gambling.

Just last month, the state progressed by passing AB 431 out of committee. The bill is still a shell but sets up the possibility for the state to move forward with legislation with the particulars of how online poker would take place within the state added. Future discussions can now take place thanks to the hearing of the joint committee last week which also moved the legislation forward.

Organizers of the conference are hoping the outcome will be that tribal interests will be more open to legislation efforts and some sort of consensus can be made to allow the state to move forward within the industry.