PokerStars Inks Deal With Californian Gambling Interests

PokerStars Inks Deal With Californian Gambling InterestsIn its efforts to establish a foothold in America’s nascent online gambling industry, PokerStars has now agreed to work with a coalition of powerful Californian gambling interests in order to offer online poker should legislation pass in the Golden State.
The global leading poker room’s new partners include California’s Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Commerce Club, the Hawaiian Gardens Casino and the Bicycle Casino, with the association holding up PokerStars not only as an online poker platform provider, but also the group’s front-facing poker brand. Commenting on the latest agreement, The Rational Group (PokerStars’ owner) made the following announcement via its Director of Strategy and Business Development, Guy Templer:
“PokerStars has a great history with California poker players, who want us in the market. We look forward to bringing our best practices in responsible gaming, online security, e-commerce, protection of players’ funds and game integrity to the California market.”
At this early stage, the Morongo Tribe and its card club allies have agreed to proactively push for legalized online poker in California, whilst also stating a number of guiding principles summarized in a press statement issued by Tribal Chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Robert Martin, declaring:
“We’re pleased to announce our agreement with these established and proven organizations that represent millions of California poker players. We’re confident that, together, we can offer a safe, secure, high-quality online poker experience that brings financial benefits to California while providing the highest level of accountability, choice, service and protection for consumers.”
Announcement of the deal was made the day after California’s Assembly Governmental Organization Committee held a hearing on the pros and cons of setting up a regulated online poker market in the USA’s most populated and affluent state. Indirectly speaking out in favour of PokerStars was Robert Martin, who indicated his tribe would oppose any attempts to include a “bad actor” clause reserved for those online poker sites which refused to leave the US after the 2006 UIGEA was passed.
“Efforts by a select few interests to rewrite longstanding and effective policy in order to gain a competitive market advantage or to lock out specific companies is not in the best interests of consumers or the state and will be vigorously opposed by our coalition, online poker players and many others,” commented Chairman Martin.
Other gambling interests have tried to have PokerStars disqualified from participating in a future Californian online poker market, hoping to lock up a bigger share of the state’s revenues for themselves. As other experts have pointed out, however, if PokerStars does manage to revive interest in online poker, which has been waning stateside since Black-Friday, then all poker companies would share in the benefits. In other words, it is a better to get a small slice of a big pie, than a big slice of a sliver.

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

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