PokerStars has confirmed that it has gotten into a partnership with a coalition of gambling companies in California. This coalition comprises the Commerce Club, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Bicycle Casino, and the Hawaiian Gardens Casino.
According to a press note released by the Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars, and the coalition, the group will work collaboratively to make legalized online gambling a reality in California.
Robert Martin, the chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, said: “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.”
According to a PokerStars representative, PokerStars would be the front-facing brand and will not stick to just providing an online poker gaming software platform and online gambling services. Neither the coalition nor the Rational Group has released additional details about the deal. However, it is worth noting that news about the partnership was released to coincide with the assembly’s hearing on online poker.
Testifying at the above-mentioned hearing arranged by the committee on government organization, Martin spoke against including “bad actor” clauses in online poker regulations as they would prevent able companies from entering California’s Internet poker market. Currently, California has two online poker bills, both of which have bad actor clauses, which would prevent companies that continued offering online gambling services to US residents even after the passage of the UIGEA in 2006 from getting a license in newly regulated US markets.
Ron Sarabi, the general manager of the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, and Keith Sharp, the iPoker counsel for Commerce Casino, Bicycle Casino, and Gardens Casino and general counsel of the Hawaiian Gardens Casino, also expressed their disapproval of bad actor clauses.
However, not everybody at the hearing was against bad actor clauses. Several other tribal gaming representatives said that bad actor clauses will help maintain the integrity of the state’s gambling industry. Among those who were in favour of bad actor clauses were Gene Whitehouse, the chairman of the United Auburn Indian Community; Lynn Valbuena, chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Jeff L. Grubbe, the chairman of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians; and Mark Macarro, the chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians.
Throughout the hearing, the name of PokerStars was not mentioned, but all those who testified indirectly referred to the online poker company.