PokerStars Announces Partnership with Morongo Tribe and California Card Rooms

Staff April 23, 2014

The Rational Group, PokerStars’ parent company, has announced a partnership with California’s Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Commerce Club, the Hawaiian Gardens Casino and the Bicycle Casino to provide an online poker software solution in the event that the industry becomes legalized in the Golden State.

In a press release issued today, the online poker giant revealed the alliance while also stating that all four organizations would work together to help push through legislation which would legalize online poker in California that would be mutually beneficial for the state, as well as for online gaming operators.

“We’re confident that, together, we can offer a safe, secure, high-quality online poker experience that brings financial benefits to California while providing the highest level of accountability, choice, service and protection for consumers,” said Robert Martin, Morongo Band of Mission Indians tribal chairman.

The new partners also laid down a set of four “guiding principles” which they believe should be involved in the drafting of any online poker legislation. The last principle, which states that lawmakers should “reject attempts by special interests to use the legislature to restrict competition,” likely refers to PokerStars’ battle with other California tribal interests who oppose the company’s entry into the state.

Last month, Leslie Lohse, Treasurer of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, said that she strongly opposed legislation which allowed the gaming giant to participate in the market. Company opponents such as these have proposed a “bad actor clause” that would keep PokerStars out of California due to its previous participation in the U.S. online poker market.

In the release, Chairman Martin reiterated that the newly formed organization would vigorously oppose any efforts by “a select few interests” to have California’s current policy rewritten in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Guy Templer, Rational Group Director of Strategy and Business Development, concluded the statement by reminding recipients that his company was the worldwide leader in regulated online poker and held more national licenses than any other competitor.

“PokerStars has a great history with California poker players, who want us in the market,” he said. “We look forward to bringing our best practices in responsible gaming, online security, e-commerce, protection of players’ funds and game integrity to the California market.”

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