Online Poker Report

Would-be California iGaming Company Pala Interactive Partners with CAMS

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In a press release this week, the California online gaming company Pala Interactive has announced an agreement with one of the industry leaders for player and geo-location verification, CAMS.

CAMS is already operating in Nevada, handling the KYC checks for Ultimate Poker, and has applied for an online gaming license in New Jersey where the company hopes to serve the same role.

The deal with Pala Interactive will go into effect should online gambling legislation find its way through the California legislature.

What is Pala Interactive?

Pala Interactive was created by the Pala Band of Mission Indians in California, and the company has already brought on some heavy hitters, including former Exscapa and Party Gaming CEO Jim Ryan, as well as inking a preliminary offer with Phil Ivey to serve as a brand ambassador.

Ryan stepped down as CEO of bwin.party in December of 2012, and was replaced by Norbert Toufelberger, who took over the reins at bwin.party on January 15, 2013.

Looking for more information on CAMS? Check out OPR’s article archive on the company.

CAMS and Pala

If California can pass an online gambling bill, CAMS will handle some payment processing, Know Your Customer (KYC) player-verification checks, and geo-location verifications.

In a press release regarding the agreement, Matthew Katz, the CEO of CAMS stated:

“Our collaboration with Pala Interactive further validates the CAMS model for gambling operators. Pala Interactive’s decision to utilize the age and ID verification solutions of our product suite underscores Pala Interactive’s commitment toward providing a safe and secure online gambling environment and we are proud to be working with them.”

Jim Ryan, CEO of Pala Interactive was enthused over the CAMS deal, saying in the same press release:

“We looked to CAMS because of their industry experience and because they provide a best in class age verification platform for the online gaming sector. It is the mission of Pala Interactive to provide the best possible gambling experience within the safest possible environment and we are pleased to select CAMS to help us accomplish our goal.”

History of online gambling in California

Of course, all of these agreements and deals are tentative at this point in time.

In California online gambling bills have a contentious history, with two factions of California’s brick & mortar card rooms and Indian tribes split on whether online gaming will help or hinder their business.

Despite being the first state to seriously consider passing an online gaming bill – and having one of the oldest brick & mortar gambling industries in the US – California hasn’t even come close to passing online gambling legislation.

However, it would seem that Pala’s recent moves – from signing Phil Ivey and appointing Jim Ryan CEO to the recent agreement with CAMS – signal they are at least optimistic that an online gaming bill is coming down the road in the near future.

All previous attempts at passing online gambling legislation in the state, dating back to 2009, have stalled in the state legislature, with most not even coming up for a vote.

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Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.