The California tribes blocking passage of the state’s latest online poker bill have proposed strict conditions for allowing PokerStars to get a license.
In a letter to Assemblyman Adam Gray obtained by Gambling Compliance scribe Chris Krafcik (@CKrafcik), the seven-tribe coalition led by the Pechanga and Agua Caliente bands reiterate their longstanding opposition to Gray’s AB 2863 legislation but offer specific remedies to alleviate their concerns.
The coalition has steadfastly objected to PokerStars participating in California’s online poker market due to the site having continued to serve US residents following the 2006 passage of the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
The fact that Stars’ former owners sold their baby in 2014 to Canada’s Amaya Gaming doesn’t alleviate the coalition’s concerns over the use of Stars’ ‘tainted assets’ – software, databases, brand, etc. – because Stars used the post-UIGEA period to establish its brand’s preeminence among US poker players.
Gray recently amended AB 2863 to impose a five-year ban on operators who served US customers post-UIGEA, although this ban could be circumvented if an operator paid a $20m penalty. The Pechanga coalition has argued that this sum represents a trifle for a company the size of PokerStars, so the coalition has proposed upping the ante.
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