Sunday March 23,2014 : CALIFORNIA TRIBAL GROUP COMES OUT AGAINST POKERSTARS INVOLVEMENT
California Tribal Business Alliance does not want Pokerstars in a regulated state market.
Last week's reports that the international online poker giant Pokerstars has been in partnership negotiations with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and three large Southern California card clubs to offer online poker in California has provoked a negative reaction from the California Tribal Business Alliance.
In a statement Saturday, the chair of the trade association and treasurer of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, Leslie Lohse, said that the alleged talks occur at a sensitive time in the online poker legalization debate, with two bills currently before the state legislature proposing different intrastate legalization and regulatory regimes.
Lohse points out that a critical issue in the political discussion is who will be allowed to offer online poker in California, and says that as far as the CTBA is concerned, only applicants that comply with the highest regulatory standards – she says "such as those used in the regulation of Indian gaming” – should be permitted to enter the market.
Given the protectionist nature of previous California debates, our readers can guess what comes next….an attack on the credentials of Pokerstars.
Lohse recaps the history of Pokerstars activity in the USA, emphasising that it did not cease operations after the passage of the UIGEA in 2006, and detailing its massive Black Friday punitive settlement, although she does admit that Pokerstars was not required to admit wrongdoing in the civil case launched by the US government.
The conduct of Pokerstars in the US market leads Lohse to warn that the CTBA "…will strongly oppose any legalization which allows PokerStars to participate."
The CTBA formed in 2004 and consists of a handful of tribes that were mostly represented by the same attorney when it formed. The group has often differed on policy and legal issues from most other tribes in the state.
There are three member tribes in the organisation: the Pala Band of Luiseño Indians, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.
The Alliance's website says that it is interested in developing partnerships and coalitions with like-minded governments and with business, community and civic organizations, with the intent to build productive alliances based on mutual respect and cooperation.