Welcome to the California Tribal Business Alliance

CTBA Political eBrief Wednesday, March 30, 2016

“As always, I continue to be dedicated to doing the right thing for Amaya and all its stakeholders. I believe that stepping down in the short term will help to avoid distraction for the company and its management while I vigorously contest all allegations made against me and pursue my bid to acquire the company.” Amaya CEO David Baazov’s statement regarding his indefinite paid lead of absence from the company in the wake of allegations of insider trading, in Amaya’s press release --- “This is an impressive example of a company's commitment to being responsive to its regulators. The fact that this process took place in only five months is a credit to all the parties involved here.” Former Attorney General Martha Coakley, now an adviser to DraftKings, said of the Massachusetts regulations that are endorsed by DraftKings, in Courthouse News Service “Small businesses have been the lifeblood of the fantasy industry for decades. In fact, smaller daily fantasy sports and season fantasy sports businesses have been operating in New York for many years with thousands of New York customers who have been enjoying our products.” Alex Kagonovsky, managing partner of Fantasy Football Players Championship, in Syracuse.com

Chukchansi Sues To Halt North Fork Casino (CA – Court Cases)
Sierra Star (March 29, 2016) The Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians announced last week its council has filed a lawsuit against Gov. Jerry Brown in an effort to prevent the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians from building a resort and casino north of Madera.
Amaya Chairman and CEO, David Baazov, To Take Voluntary Leave of Absence (Int. – Internet Poker)
Amaya.com (March 29, 2016) Amaya Inc. today announced that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David Baazov, is taking an indefinite paid leave of absence from the company, effective yesterday. Mr. Baazov is taking this leave voluntarily to focus on preparing an offer to acquire Amaya and to avoid a distraction for the company while he responds to certain allegations made against him by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the securities regulatory authority in Quebec. Mr. Baazov will remain a member of Amaya’s board of directors.
AMF Documents Allege Amaya CEO David Baazov Was 'Main Source' Of Privileged Info (Int. – Internet Poker)
Business News Network (March 29, 2016) Quebec’s securities watchdog alleges friends and associates of Amaya’s CEO and his brother pocketed nearly $1.5 million in profits from insider information they received about acquisitions, including the deal almost two years ago that transformed the Montreal firm into the world’s largest online poker company.
Plea Change Sought In Phil Mickelson-Related Money-Laundering Case (CA – Court Cases)
ESPN (March 29, 2016) A California man who last year pleaded guilty to transferring nearly $3 million to "an illegal gambling operation which accepted and placed bets on sporting events" filed a court motion on Tuesday requesting to withdraw his guilty plea. Outside the Lines, citing sources, last year identified Mickelson as the client.
Feds Join Tribes In Objecting To Caltrans Treatment Of Cultural Findings (CA – Tribal Culture)
Ukiah Daily Journal (March 29, 2016) Last week, the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation announced it will not be signing on to Caltrans’ final proposal for identification and management of archaeological finds uncovered on the Willits Bypass project.
Rival Casino Opposed By Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Awaits Fate (MA – Tribal Casinos)
Indianz.com (March 29, 2016) The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is debating whether to approve a commercial casino that's opposed by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. The commission held a final public meeting on the $675 million casino in Brockton on Monday.
Choctaw Nation Holds Groundbreaking And Topping Off Ceremony (OK – Tribal Casinos)
Durant Democrat (March 30, 2016) The Choctaw Nation has broken ground on its new headquarters just northeast of the casino. A full service health clinic is currently under construction with the steel frame now in place. Chief Gary Batton said, “We are very blessed today to have the topping out of the clinic’s 120,000 square-foot facility here. It’s a regional outpatient clinic.”
Small Fantasy Sports Companies Fight Possible $500,000 Licensing Fee In NY State (NY – Fantasy Sports)
Syracuse.com (March 29, 2016) Small businesses that provide fantasy sports said Tuesday that legislation requiring them to pay a $500,000 licensing fee would make New York too expensive for all but industry giants DraftKings and FanDuel.
French Government Proposes A Bill That Recognizes eSports Events And Players (Int. – Fantasy Sports)
Yogonet International (March 29, 2016) Named “The Digital Republic Bill”, the proposed legislation aims to disassociate eSports events from gambling events. The bill will also expand the definition of athletes to include players, allowing eSports professionals to partake and contribute to government pensions and other social nets.
State Bills To Allow Fantasy Sports Could Hurt Smaller Firms (VA – Fantasy Sports)
Toldeo Blade (March 28, 2016) Smaller companies in the exploding fantasy sports industry say they could be shut out of doing business in some states by legislation that is actually intended to recognize the games’ legality. Virginia’s governor signed a bill this month that authorizes fantasy contests but requires operators that charge participants and offer cash awards to pay a $50,000 annual registration fee to the state.
DraftKings Endorses Fantasy Sports Rules In Massachusetts (MA – Fantasy Sports)
Courthouse News Service (March 9, 2016) DraftKings says it endorses Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey's efforts to curb the impact of cash-driven daily sports fantasy games on children and gambling addicts. Healey last week announced regulations for same-day fantasy sports websites, including barring players younger than 21, banning wagers on college sports, and limits on how much money users can deposit for bets.
Bill In Colorado Legislature Aims To Regulate Online Fantasy Sports (CO – Fantasy Sports)
Fox 31 Denver (March 29, 2016) A bill to regulate fantasy sports has been introduced in the Colorado legislature. The fantasy sports industry has skyrocketed in recent years with websites like Fan Duel and Draft Kings offering large sums of money for correctly picking which athlete will perform the best.
Colorado Gaming Revenues Grew At 5th Fastest Rate In The U.S. In 2015 (CO – Gaming Revenue)
Yogonet International (March 29, 2016) Colorado casino revenues rose 5.9% to $790.1 million last year, the fifth-biggest increase among the two dozen states with legalized gaming, according to a report Thursday from RubinBrown.
Tribe Makes Deal To Drop Lawsuit Against Lending Partner (MT – Court Cases)
SF Gate (March 29, 2016) Montana's Chippewa Cree Tribe has settled a lawsuit against a former partner accused of siphoning millions of dollars from a lucrative online lending company through hidden agreements with a handful of tribal officials.