PokerStars Goes On Offensive With ‘Californians for Responsible iPoker’ Website

June 18, 2015
PokerStars Goes On Offensive With ‘Californians for Responsible iPoker’ Website

The forces trying to bring regulated online poker to California — led by PokerStars — are making a marketing push, launching the website

What’s going on at C4RiP?

The initiative — called Californians for Responsible iPoker — serves several purposes as the state legislature considers the future of online poker:

  • The site is a vehicle for bringing together state residents that want to see regulated online poker. The only call to action, currently, allows visitors to sign up via an email address for updates “on the latest information and show you how you can get involved in public advocacy efforts to help pass responsible iPoker legislation.”
  • It serves as a resource for educating visitors, including reasons why iPoker would be good for California and links to news articles.
  • The site also publicizes the PokerStars Pro Tour — apparently a way for PokerStars to leverage some of its sponsored pros into good press on the regulated online poker front. The site notes that Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa SelbstJason Mercier and Chris Moneymaker will be appearing  at “card rooms all over California.” Specific dates and locations have not yet been disclosed.

The site came online at a possibly critical time for online poker in California, as it attempts to drum up support for legislation this year, or perhaps in 2016.

Who’s behind the site?

The interests behind the website match the interests that are in a coalition that is pushing for regulated iPoker in the state:

  • PokerStars/Amaya (the main image on the front of the website features a laptop with a PokerStars table)
  • The Morongo Band of Mission Indians
  • The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
  • Bicycle Casino
  • Commerce Casino
  • Hawaiian Gardens Casino

The coalition and legislators who want to see iPoker in the state seemed to be on the defensive, of late. An attack ad from a California tribe against PokerStars raised the level of rhetoric in the iPoker battle, and a coalition of tribes that had been neutral on an online poker bill are now opposed to it. A recent report suggested the California Senate won’t act on an iPoker bill this year.

A successful start?

It’s certainly not clear, yet, how successful the coalition will be in using the website to organize online poker players in the state, or if it will be able to sway public opinion in a meaningful way.

But it does serve as a starting point for grass-roots advocacy on the state level — outside of the nationwide Poker Players Alliance — presumably with future calls to action for Californians wanting iPoker.

A single website touting the benefits of and providing information about regulated online poker can’t be a bad thing. But will it move the needle? That remains to be seen.

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