If and when California’s legislature approves in-state online poker, the United Auburn Indian Community is set to move forward using technology from the online poker giant bwin.party. The tribe owns and operates the Thunder Valley land-based casino near Sacramento and is looking ahead to what they believe is the inevitable launch of Internet gambling in California.
The agreement between the tribe and bwin is a ten-year arrangement, with the contract beginning on the date that online poker launches in the state. Since the tribe is federally recognized and already operates a casino in California, it would be an eligible operator under the online casino legislation currently under consideration in the state capitol. The Internet Gambling Consumer Protection and Public-Private Partnership Act of 2012 would license, regulate and tax Internet gambling in California. Taxes proposed in the bill are considerable, including a $30 million licensing fee that would be credited against an ongoing 10% tax on gross revenues.
In an article in the Sacramento Bee, the bwin co-CEOs are quoted saying “California is the largest state in the U.S. in terms of population and is known to have a significant number of poker players who like to play poker online. Combining our own significant assets and resources with those of UAIC will create a strong partnership that is well-placed to seize the opportunities that will arise if appropriate online poker legislation is enacted in the Golden State.”