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Indian Tribes Meet At Hard Rock With Eye On Internet Gambling

It is no secret across the US that Internet gambling is becoming the popular choice for gamblers. The industry is growing to a level that it can no longer be ignored by the US.

This week, tribal leaders representing over 180 tribes met at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The purpose of the meeting for the National Indian Gaming Association was to discuss current topics relating to tribal gaming, and Internet gambling was the forefront of those discussions.

"We all realize the future of gambling is the younger generation, with online gambling and mobile apps," said Association Executive Director Jason Giles. "And we don't want a state-run system to get out in front of us."

The state-run system Giles was referring to has not yet occurred in Florida. Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey are the only states to-date that have passed laws regulating online gambling. The Sunshine State, does, however, have lawmakers who have discussed the issue several times over the past year. It is expected that the issue may make it to the ballot in November behind a heavy lobbying group in Genting. The international gaming company has purchased the land where the Miami Herald offices currently sit. Genting has shown plans for a Resorts World Miami that would feature room for a casino on the second floor.

All of the talk surrounding the expansion of gambling to the Internet, has tribal leaders clamoring to beat state lawmakers to the punch. Part of the allure of online casinos is to help tribe's on the low end of the gaming revenue totem pole.

"The top 40 tribes make 75% of the money," said Giles. "That's (Internet gambling) something that our bottom three-quarters could do."

Giles suggested that tribal online casinos could connect their games to create massive jackpots, much like they do with their land-based casino operations. It would be a system similar to the one run by the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries.

The Seminoles, who operate over a dozen casinos around the US, would be in a position to capitalize in Florida on the land-based casino success they have enjoyed through their Hard Rock brand in Tampa and Hollywood.

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