California | Legislation | NIGC
Details of Senate Indian Affairs Committee online gaming draft

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee has drafted a bill called the Tribal Online Gaming Act of 2012.

The 49-page bill is a discussion draft only. It has not been introduced in the Senate.

The draft authorizes tribes or groups of tribes to offer online poker games. No other forms of Internet gaming are allowed under the bill.

The bill puts the Commerce Department -- not the National Indian Gaming Commission -- in charge of regulation. It creates a new Office of Tribal Online Gaming to oversee tribes.

The Commerce Department will be authorized to issue licenses to tribes of groups of tribes. Tribes will be able to partner with non-Indian entities under the bill -- a nod to a consortium of tribes and non-Indian card clubs in California.

Only people located in the U.S. will be allowed to bet on tribal online poker games. The bill requires that participants be located in a state that allows such wagering -- Utah, for instance, would not be covered.

Tribes must submit an Internet gaming ordinance to the Commerce Department for review. The bill provides a 90-day deadline.

Tribes that wish to offer Internet poker games must be "in good standing" with the NIGC, according to the bill. Additionally, tribes must have been operating a gaming facility for at least two years in order to qualify, the draft states.

Summary of SCIA Internet gaming bill | Draft of SCIA Internet gaming bill