Following recent protests by the California Charity Bingo Association against a measure that would legalise remote caller bingo in the state, the California Tribal Business Alliance has released a statement in favour of the Bill.
State Bill 1369 passed through the Senate in Sacramento last week and the Association has urged Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto the measure. The Association claims that, if passed, the Bill would trigger a clause in the Indian tribal gaming compact that would allow aboriginal-run casinos to use the Internet for gambling. It stated that this would open the door for tribes to offer other games using the Internet including blackjack, poker and slots while severely weakening the California Lottery along with smaller charities.
“You may have received information recently from the California Charity Bingo Association, a group funded by slot machine manufacturer Video Gaming Technology, claiming that recent legislation authorising remote caller bingo will allow California tribes to operate Internet gambling sites, leading to ‘the greatest expansion of legal gambling in California's history’,” read a statement from the Alliance.
“Essentially, State Bill 1369 could not permit Internet wagering because the use of Internet technology is limited strictly to the broadcast of a live bingo game to remote locations. Players must be present in the bingo hall and no wagers or prize awards are allowed via the Internet. Internet wagering is also prohibited under Federal law so neither charity bingo operators nor Indian tribes may attempt to offer it.
“State Bill 1369 authorises remote caller bingo, a more attractive bingo game option, for any California charity. It raises the bingo pot limit to $500 from $250, the limit that has been in place since charity bingo was authorised more than 30 years ago. For these reasons, the Bill is supported by hundreds of California charities and non-profits.”