PokerStars Seeks Deal With California's Morongo TribeMarch 21, 2014 5:03 pm
Having being forced to exit the USA’s unregulated online gaming market in 2011, PokerStars has since tirelessly sought to become part of the country’s licenced market which saw Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey offer licensed igaming in 2013. Back in 2012, the world’s biggest poker room even agreed to pay the US Department of Justice $731 million, mainly so as to pave the way one day for a return to US online poker.
In spite of a settlement being agreed, though, the company never admitted to any wrongdoing and PokerStars founder Isaia Scheinberg still has has a federal criminal indictment lodged against him. Furthermore, the company continues to be subject to a “bad actor” clause, which prevents internet gambling companies which continued operating in the US post UIGEA (2006) from being granted a licence to offer their products in state regulated markets. Such “bad actor” clauses have already thwarted PokerStars’ efforts to gain a toehold in the three regulated states, and so the company is now looking towards California as its ticket back into the US.
Currently, PokerStars is exploring igaming options with California’s Morongo tribe which owns the 27-story Morongo Casino, one of the largest casinos resorts in California. However, keen to avoid the hurdles of the past, PokerStars is looking to dodge possible “bad actor” hurdles, and as a tweet by U.S licensed affiliate marketing platform iGaming Player, stated recently:
“PokerStars and the Morongo tribe close to a deal in CA. No wonder there is not ‘bad actor’ clauses in the bill supported by Morongo.”
At present, The Golden State has two proposed bills being contemplated, State Senator Lou Correa’s SB 1366, and Assembly Member’s Reginald Jones-Sawyer’s AB 2291. Although, major interests groups will have to be satisfied first before any agreement is made, with many industry experts predicting regulated online gambling in California as early as 2015, PokerStars will be hoping to have at last found an inroad into the USA’s potentially huge igaming market.