Friday July 12,2013 : A NEW U.S. PARTNERSHIP FOR POKERSTARS?
Major cardroom may be in online poker giant's sites
Rumours were rampant this week – some on pretty tenuous grounds – that online poker giant Pokerstars is talking with a major Los Angeles land cardroom about a partnership that could give it a bridgehead in any Californian intrastate legalised internet poker market that may evolve.
The reports appear to be centred on "The Gardens", a prestigious cardroom that forms part of the Hawaiian Gardens Casino Resort offering in LA, and claim that Pokerstars' top lobbyist in the area, former politician Dick Gephardt has been doing the rounds at the local Legislature.
One of the ‘firmer' reports quotes an anonymous Senate staffer as revealing that Gephardt has been not too successfully sounding politicians out on the idea of a Hawaiian Gardens – Pokerstars collaboration, although no detail was available.
There could be obstacles in the three intrastate legalization measures presently working their way through the California lawmaking system; all of them have a distinctly local protectionist tone, along with "bad actor" provisions targeting any companies that offered online poker to Americans post-UIGEA.
Pokerstars has expensively made its peace with the US Department of Justice, but that may not be enough to overcome Californian self-interest.