Native American Communities in Gambling Uncertainty

While the state of California is gearing itself up to welcome other forms of internet gambling to its state, the resident Native American groups are not so certain. The Department of Justice (DoJ) recently released a formal legal opinion on the scope of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961.



  The opinion was that: “Interstate transmissions of wire communications that do not relate to a sporting event or contest fall outside the reach of the Wire Act.”
When news of the DoJ’s announcement broke, the United States started to get ready for the introduction of wide-scale online gambling; however, Californian Native Americans are not getting so worked up about it. Howard Dickstein, as specialist on gaming in indigenous communities says: “I think most of us assumed that the Wire Act did not apply to intrastate internet gaming, but this confirms it.”


David Quintana, who is with the California Tribal Business Alliance is not so sure:  “In three years of discussing internet gaming in California this issue has come up maybe once or twice. He added: “Clarifying this issue and its effect on the ability of a bill getting passed or not is the equivalent of saying whether a race car that has leather or vinyl seats is going to win the race.”


It seems the story surrounding the DoJ’s “legal opinion” will keep on rolling and it will be interesting to see where it ends up. In the meantime, there will be a lot of work going on behind the scenes, by the online gaming companies, to ensure they are ready to move and move quick.



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