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PokerStars Reaches Landmark Deal with Morongo Band in California
Online giant PokerStars has aligned itself with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians with hopes of offering regulated online poker in California.
The Rational Group, owner of PokerStars, will provide an online poker platform for Morongo and the three biggest card clubs - Commerce, Hawaiian Gardens and Bicycle Casino when intrastate online poker is legalized in California.
The online gaming giant will essentially serve as a subcontractor for all parties with Morongo and the card clubs holding ownership over the eventual sites.
“We’re pleased to announce our agreement with these established and proven organizations that represent millions of California poker players,” Morongo Band of Mission Indians Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said.
“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.”
No Timeline for Legal Online Poker in California
It’s unclear if PokerStars decision to continue to operate in the United States after UIGEA was passed in 2006 will have any effect on the deal.
Some of the preliminary plans for regulated online poker in California have called for “Bad Actor” clauses that would keep sites like PokerStars out of the USA.
“PokerStars has a great history with California poker players, who want us in the market,” said Guy Templer, director of strategy and business development for the Rational Group.
“We are the worldwide leader in regulated online poker and hold more national licenses than any other operator. 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.”
So far Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are the only states in the USA that have legalized online poker.