May 30, 2013
The Capital Center Lecture Series capped off its inaugural season with a two-panel discussion of one of the most controversial issues facing the state of California — the growth of off-reservation gaming by Native American tribes and the surge in worldwide internet gambling, which generates funds that tribes and states all want a part of.
Dean Francis J. Mootz III moderated two panels at the luncheon on May 23, 2013, which was sponsored by McGeorge's Capital Center for Law & Policy and hosted by CalChamber in downtown Sacramento.
Cathy Christian, a partner at Nielsen Merksamer, et al, who represents gambling interests before the California Legislature and has been counsel to statewide initiative campaigns, joined prominent tribe lawyer Howard Dickstein on the first panel. They discussed the economic threat to casino-owning tribes from the Obama administration's "equal footing doctrine" that grants non-gaming tribes with inaccessible land the right to trade property for near-urban acreage.
"This expansion of Indian gaming may actually hurt more people that it helps in the long run," Dickstein said, drawing fire from one audience member who represents the "land-locked tribes."
Attorney David Fried, one of the country's leading experts on internet gambling, and Cheryl Schmit, the director of public-interest organization Stand Up California, which lobbies against the expansion of gambling without comprehensive regulation, discussed internet gaming.
Fried said that more than 800,000 Californians participate in internet gambling. He added that it was only a matter of time before the state decides to get a share of millions of dollars of revenue flowing out of it by granting some combination of tribes, card rooms and horse racing tracks internet gaming licenses.