Poker initiative was proposed by card club interests and pro-Internet tribes

Nine tribes in California have asserted their opposition to a proposal to legalize intrastate Internet poker.

A report in The Desert Sun said the tribes sent a letter to members of the state Senate’s Governmental Organization Committee in advance of an informational hearing on a poker initiative proposed by card club interests and pro-Internet tribes, whose numbers include the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.

“We are writing to clearly state our strong opposition,” the tribes said.

Proponents of online poker say legalization would financially benefit the state. The opposing tribes call it an “ill-conceived” proposal with fundamental flaws, among them the potential risk to the gambling exclusivity provided to casino tribes under their gaming compacts with the state.

Signing the letter were the heads of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians; the Jackson Rancheria of MiWuk Indians; the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians; the Pala Band of Mission Indians; the Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians; the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians; the United Auburn Indian Community; and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.