Online Poker Report

Wide-Ranging California Tribal Coalition Expresses “Steadfast Opposition” to PokerStars

California closed to PokerStars
This article may be outdated. Get the latest news on California here.

Update 3/28: PokerStars has issued a statement in reaction to the statement from a coalition of California tribes described in this story.

PokerStars’ attempt to find a way into the California regulated online poker market has run into resistance from a powerful tribal coalition.

That resistance was expressed in no uncertain terms via a statement released today endorsed by over a dozen tribes – including San Manuel and Pechanga, who are advancing dueling versions of online poker regulation in the legislature.

“Although we presently have slightly differing views on a legislative framework for Intrastate Internet Poker in California,” the statement reads, “our tribal governments are united in our steadfast opposition to the easing of regulatory standards that would accommodate bad actors whose past behavior and tainted brands and assets would erode the integrity of Intrastate Internet poker under consideration.”

View the full statement here.

Both online poker bills in California currently contain a so-called “bad actor” clause that would prohibit participation by companies that continued to serve the US market after the passage of the UIGEA.

Read an in-depth comparison of the two bills from GamblingCompliance.

The statement calls on lawmakers to maintain those “bad actor” provisions, arguing that to “now weaken California’s suitability standards would undermine our collective goal of creating a legislative framework that protects consumers from nefarious operators.”

“We urge the State Legislature,” the statement concludes, “to maintain the highest standard of suitability in order to prevent unscrupulous entities and brands from any involvement in legislatively authorized internet poker opportunities.”

The statement is signed by representatives from the following tribes:

  • Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
  • Barona Band of Mission Indians.
  • Lytton Band of Pomo Indians.
  • Pala Band of Mission Indians.
  • Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.
  • Pechanga Band of  Luiseño Indians.
  • Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians.
  • San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
  • Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians.
  • United Auburn Indian Community.
  • Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians .
  • Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

An identical statement was released by The California Tribal Business Alliance (CTBA).

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Chris Grove
- Chris is the publisher of OnlinePokerReport.com. Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.