The Shifting Sands Of Tribal Internet Gaming

As we barrel toward the election, the outcome of the presidential election promises to affect federal online poker legislation, and therefore tribal online gaming. The 2012 GOP platform calls for the ban of internet poker. And the DOJ opened the door under President Obama’s watch – albeit with as little publicity as possible. Presumably a second Obama term is better for federal poker legislation than a Romney term. That said, a lame duck congressional term could be just the ticket to “sneak” federal online gaming legislation through. With Senator Reid supporting tribal online poker, but opposing “off-reservation gaming,” it could get interesting. Tribes are, and should remain, on high alert. Yesterday the oft-referenced tribal/cardroom consortium California Online Poker Association disbanded due to insufficient progress on state online poker legislation. One could interpret this lack of progress as a reflection that tribes must be featured more prominently in any legislation. Federal or state bills that don’t protect tribal interests will be scrutinized and – hopefully – scuttled. Anthony Broadman is a partner at Galanda Broadman PLLC. He can be reached at 206.321.2672,, or via