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PokerStars Responds To California Tribal Coalition

Firm Fires Back, Says Tribes "Misrepresenting" Company's Past


PokerStars wants to get re-involved with online poker in the United States, after leaving American cyberspace in April 2011. After high-stakes efforts didn’t pan out in Nevada or New Jersey, the state of California is the firm’s next target.

The site has reportedly entered into negotiations for potentially partnering with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, a California tribe which operates the Morongo Casino Resort in Cabazon. PokerStars would need a partner to find a way into California. However, the California Tribal Business Alliance has pledged to block any legislation that doesn’t have a “bad actor” clause, which would essentially shut PokerStars out of the market thanks to its history.

PokerStars settled without admitting any wrongdoing.

Shortly after it was made public that the CTBA would oppose any bill that allowed PokerStars to have access to the state’s 38 million population, the firm issued a statement of its own.

PokerStars shares the belief that a future licensing framework for online poker in California should be based upon the highest standards of suitability that maximize consumer protection and consumer choice. We have consistently met those standards in jurisdictions around the world, where we hold 11 licenses — more than any other company, including licenses in leading European jurisdictions such as Italy, France and Spain.

PokerStars has not, will not and need not request any changes to the California gaming regulations. Most regulatory frameworks around the world leave the assessment of suitability to qualified expert regulators. The same position has been taken by the legislators in New Jersey. The California Gambling Control Commission has a 15-year history of successful consumer protection and is more than qualified to continue to determine suitability.

The only parties seeking to change this are certain groups who want to use the Legislature to gain a competitive market advantage and to limit competition. Their efforts are not in the best interest of consumer choice or consumer protection.

These groups are misrepresenting the Unlawful Internet Enforcement Gambling Act (UIGEA) and PokerStars’ past U.S. operations serving only to exclude PokerStars from the market in order to avoid what should be fair competition. The fact is that UIGEA did not make illegal any gaming that was not already illegal before its passage. This has been confirmed by the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals and by the U.S. Department of Justice. PokerStars operated under legal opinion that its offering of online poker did not violate U.S. law before 2006 and maintained that opinion following the passage of UIGEA.

PokerStars looks forward to demonstrating our suitability to the regulator just like any other company seeking to operate in California and investing in a fair and well-regulated market.

There are currently two bills on the table that could legalize online poker in California.



over 7 years ago

Hopefully pokerstars will gain a foothold in the us and us players will be able to play with row players again. This will be a great day. As is unregulated offshore sites are hit and miss for americans. You have your honest sites like bovada and you have outright Ponzi schemes such as lock poker and superwins. Just because a offshore site can pay for advertising doesn't mean they will pay if you try to cash out. Don't be the next victim of a Ponzi scheme do your research before you deposit. Offshore sites like lock poker are nothing more than ATMs for their owners.