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