California Online Poker Makes Progress

Poker-StarsThe latest changes to California’s Internet poker bill call for online gaming companies who facilitated poker games for Americans between 2006 and 2011 to be excluded from the Golden State market for five years, according to a report from The Los Angeles Times.

The amendment would prevent PokerStars, which has roughly 70 percent of the worldwide online poker market, from being involved right out of the gate in what is considered the nation’s largest online poker market. PokerStars facilitated games for Americans until 2011, before the federal government indicted its former owners. The company settled without admitting to any wrongdoing, then was sold to Amaya Gaming for $4.9 billion.

Though PokerStars has partnered with the Morongo and San Manuel Mission Indians, as well as the Commerce Casino, Bicycle Casino and Hawaiian Gardens, for online poker should it become legal, some politically powerful tribes, which formed a group known as the Pechanga coalition, have opposed any involvement by PokerStars. The five-year exclusion period reportedly is being touted as a compromise to appease the Pechanga coalition.

“This deal should secure two-thirds [vote] in the Assembly,” Assemblymember Adam Gray’s office reportedly said. Should the vote happen in the Assembly, and should it be a favorable one, the bill would move to the Senate for consideration. But there’s only about two weeks left in the legislative session.

More at Card Player

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