On Thursday, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Daniel Akaka (D-HI), introduced a online gaming bill that (if passed into law) would create a regulatory framework for legalized online gambling as implemented by Native American tribes that currently operate gambling operations. The bill is in the preliminary stages only, as it is being discussed in committee and has not yet been introduced to the full Senate, let alone taken up in the House, so any speculation is premature.
The narrow focus of the bill – online Tribal gaming only – limits its utility in terms of establishing a uniform legal regime for online gaming across the nation. However, if the bill is passed into law, it would create a valuable tool by which Tribal gaming operations can continue to operate and compete in the emerging Internet gaming landscape. If passed, it could also encourage other, more comprehensive federal legislation.
This bill is definitely worth keeping an eye on.