Monday, April 02, 2012

The Indian Wrinkle & Were You an April Fool?

During my usual morning troll of Google news "online poker" article I came across this article on a Native American publication.

What picqued my interest was this line in the piece:

Tribes should have the right to offer online gaming even if a state “opts out” of the federal regulatory scheme

As you probably know, the most discussed federal possibility for online poker legalization would involved an opt-out clause for any state that did not wish to participate. Utah has preemptively agreed to opt out of any legislation, for example. (I'm sure Alabama would too, lame-o lawmakers -- and to be fair, constituency -- we have here.)

What would happen if tribes were allowed to offer games in "opt-out" states? As I understand current federal gaming laws, tribes can offer the same "class" of gaming that the state in which the tribes are located allow. If your state has a lottery (Class 2) you can offer the same, but not a a full-fledged casino (Class 3).

I would love to see a situation where a state opts out, but tribes can opt in, but I don't see how that would work. I assume you wouldn't just limit players to fellow Native Americans in the tribe. So if all players in a state were allowed under such a scenario, you have effectively opted the entire state in anyway.

On another note, you didn't fall for my third April Fool's Day post did you? I admit I get a kick out of my little jokes. If you missed my first two, you can see them here and here.

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