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In the wake of the DOJ opinion regarding Internet gaming, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has conducted a hearing Thursday, deliberating on how the tribes would be impacted by the looming Internet gaming industry. The issue was given a serious boost by the Department of Justice when it released a legal opinion on the matter in the latter part of 2011.
The President of New York’s Seneca Nation of Indians, Robert Odawi Porter, started the hearing by hurling haymakers against the commercial gaming industry. He claimed New Jersey and Nevada casino interests are engaging in a “brazen power grab” for a “monopolistic” control in lobbying for a federal bill.
Repeated attempts for a federal online gaming legislation have failed, thus far, to achieve any real grip in Congress. One of these legislative efforts, the poker-only bill introduced by Rep. Joe Barton, was the subject of a hearing in November, where the National Indian Gaming Association chairman blasted the proposed measure.
Tribes, according to Porter, “not only want a seat at the table” when deliberating on a federal regime and the implications for their exclusivity, but that “we already own our table and don’t want it stolen from us.”
During his testimony, Porter admitted that Internet poker has not harmed the gaming business of his tribe, but some other games form a “slippery slope.”