Supporters Of Online Poker In California

The efforts to legalize intrastate online poker in California have drawn a wide group of supporters. Perhaps the most significant support has come from the coalition known as the California Online Poker Association, or COPA.

COPA is a statewide alliance of Indian tribes and commercial card rooms that have signed off on Senate Bill 40, the measure introduced by State Senator Lou Correa. That bill would allow only online poker and would restrict running those sites to only those groups located in California (likely those same card rooms and tribal groups).

This group is led by the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, who are the operators of the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa. In total, nearly 30 different tribes are listed on the COPA site as members who support SB 40. Most of these tribes currently run brick-and-mortar casino operations and would be in prime position to operate online poker rooms should a bill legalizing them go into effect. The complete list of tribes that have joined COPA is below.

Indian Tribes in Support of California Online Poker Legislation

  • Augustine Band of Cahuilla Indians
  • Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley
  • Bishop Paiute Tribe
  • Blue Lake Rancheria
  • Cahuilla Band of Mission Indians
  • Chemehuevi Tribal Council
  • Coyote Valley Reservation
  • Elk Valley Rancheria
  • Enterprise Rancheria
  • Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians
  • Fort Bidwell Reservation
  • Grindstone Rancheria
  • Hopland Reservation
  • Ione Band of Miwok Indians
  • Karuk Tribe of California
  • Kashia Band-Stewarts Point Rancheria
  • Manchester-Point Arena Band of Pomo Indians
  • Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians
  • Morongo Band of Mission Indians
  • North Fork Rancheria
  • Pit River Tribal Council
  • Potter Valley Tribe
  • Ramona Band of Mission Indians
  • Redding Rancheria
  • Robinson Rancheria
  • San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • San Pasqual Band of Diegueno Indians
  • Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians
  • Susanville Indian Rancheria

Meanwhile, a large number of poker rooms have also come out in support of the bill. These include a significant number of the largest poker rooms in the state, including the Commerce Casino, which is widely regarded as the largest poker room in the world. Other notable rooms that have signed on to COPA include the Bicycle Club, Hollywood Park, Hawaiian Gardens, and Ocean’s Eleven. Like the tribes they have partnered with, these poker rooms would also be capable of operating online poker sites if SB 40 were to go into law. The card room members of COPA are below.

Poker Rooms in Support of California Online Poker Legislation

  • Commerce Casino
  • Hawaiian Gardens Casino
  • Bicycle Club Casino
  • Hollywood Park Casino
  • Crystal Casino & Hotel
  • Diamond Jim’s Casino
  • Lake Elsinore Hotel & Casino
  • Lucky Chances
  • Napa Valley Casino
  • Normandie Casino
  • Ocean’s Eleven Casino
  • Player’s Poker Club
  • Village Club
  • Comstock Card Room
  • Empire Sportsmen’s Association
  • Phoenix Casino & Lounge Inc.
  • Mike’s Card Casino
  • Marina Club
  • Lucky Derby Casino
  • Ocean View Card Room
  • Livermore Casino
  • Casino Royale
  • The Limelight
  • Rancho’s Club Casino, Inc.
  • Capitol Casino
  • Blacksheep Inn & Casino Co.
  • North Coast Casino
  • Club San Rafael
  • Clovis 500 Club
  • Casino Club

In addition, SB 40 has also garnered the support of the California Gaming Association, which represents 69 of the licensed card rooms in the state – over 75% of all rooms in California. Many of the rooms that are part of COPA are also members of the California Gaming Association; in addition, rooms such as Bay 101 are part of the CGA.

It’s worth noting that these groups did not come out in support of SB 45. This is likely due to the fact that this alternative bill would open up the bidding process to groups outside of California. Many Indian tribes are also opposed to expanding online gaming beyond poker, which SB 45 could potentially allow.