The ‘Let California Play’ Regulated Online Poker Movement

californiaOver the weekend, the PokerStars Pro Tour concluded with its final four events. The last stop took place atTurlock Poker Room & Casino in Turlock, California, and another large turnout of support took place. Fans, poker players, and media members from around the Central Valley region flocked to the room, hoping to get the chance to meet with Daniel Negreanu and Vanessa Selbst.

As previously mentioned, the PokerStars Pro Tour has been running since the middle of July, promoting awareness and support for legally, regulated online poker in the state. That’s something Mario Alvarez, Director of Casino Relations at Turlock Poker Room & Casino, says the room is happy to get behind.

“Ownership has been on board with this since it first came out,” Alvarez said. “They believe that this is something right for California. They believe that California should be regulated without a doubt, to protect the youth and all Californians to make sure that California can sustain itself through the profit that can be made from taxes, creation of jobs, and other things. We know that iPoker is something that’s going to be here eventually, regardless. We feel that other countries are playing legal and regulated online poker, so why not the United States completely, and why not California?”

The ownership Alvarez mentions consists of co-owners Phil Rheinschild and Joe Fernandez. While at the event on Sunday, PokerNews had the opportunity to talk with Rheinschild about the room’s decision to become a part of this movement.

“I think it’s very cool to be a part of this process,” Rheinschild said. “My feelings about online poker is that it’s really not going to hurt us. You’re going to see some shifts, but I think it’s going to generate enough new players who will have curiosity and interest about being in a brick-and-mortar environment that I think it’s going to be positive for us.”

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