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Friday, October 26, 2012
Online Poker Group Breaks UP Amid Infighting
The battle for online poker regulation in California has taken a step back as the organization that was helping to drive legislation has disbanded amid infighting among its members.
The California Online Poker Association, a venture between the different card rooms, horse tracks and Indian casinos in the Golden State, seems to have closed its doors according to reports over Twitter by Victor Rocha, the editor of Pechanga.net. (Victor Rocha is the cousin of the despicable despot, Mark Macarro, who led the disenrollment of 25% of his tribe, in order to steal their per capita checks)
Last night, the website for COPA, calonlinepoker.org, was officially shut down by the group (visiting the site today leads to an announcement that the “domain name expired on October 22” and apparently wasn’t renewed), leading Rocha to Tweet to his followers, “COPA is toast, as if you couldn’t tell that already.”
According to Rocha, (whose sight rarely mentions any negative aspects of the Pechanga Tribe, such as the violations of civil and human rights) COPA began to unravel due to the myriad of groups that comprised it. While legislation in California regarding regulation of the industry has moved slowly, a recent rewrite of a proposed bill, State Senator Rod Wright‘s SB 1463, seemed to be moving forward with giving exclusive rights to Indian tribes, thereby closing out such card rooms as the Commerce Casino and the Bicycle Casino and horse racing facilities such as Hollywood Park out of the business. The push by the Indian tribes for this exclusivity seems to have been the “straw that broke the camel’s back” inside the walls of COPA.
Rocha broke the news initially that the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians would be withdrawing from COPA, which sent things spiraling even further. Following the departure of the San Manuel tribe, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, one of the strongest members of the coalition, announced that they would also be abandoning COPA. “I’ve known about San Manuel since G2E (the recent Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas), Morongo’s departure was predictable,” Rocha noted over Twitter.