Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment has entered into a partnership with a California tribal gaming community in anticipation of regulated online poker in the state.
The U.K.-based online gambling company has joined forces with California’s United Auburn Indian Community (UAIC), signing a 10-year operating agreement to be prepared when online poker is legalized in the nation’s most populous state.
“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,” Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan, Bwin.Party co-CEOs, said jointly in a press release.
Bwin.Party has already partnered with MGM Resorts in Nevada and is prepared to offer online poker in the Silver State under that alliance. Its new allegiance with UAIC, operators of Thunder Valley Casino Resort, continues the company’s mission to gain a strong foothold in the U.S. online poker marketplace.
The proposed online gambling bill in California, SB1463, is currently undergoing revisions by its sponsors, Sen. Roderick Wright (D-Inglewood) and State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), to appease various cardrooms and powerful Indian tribes. The issues being rewritten include the $30 million licensing fee thats payable in only three years, as well as deciding who will be allowed to apply for the coveted online gambling licenses.
The legislative session in California ends August 31. If SB1463 has not passed through the legislature by that time, the process will start from scratch next year. Amendments to the bill are expected to be completed soon. Though there is considerable in-fighting among the state’s gambling interests and past attempts at online gambling regulations have failed, the Golden State’s budget deficit in excess of $9 billion is spurring lawmakers to accomplish the task of approving Internet gambling legislation.