PPA: ‘Cali Poker Bill Changes Would Mean Lifetime PokerStars Ban’


The Poker Player’s Alliance and a coalition of brick-and-mortar casinos in California, several tribes and PokerStars are asking politicians to reject the proposed amendments to assemblyman Adam Gray’s online poker bill.

The newly-amended bill would ban so-called “bad actors” like PokerStars, which operated in the USA after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in 2006, for five years.

The PPA’s executive director John Pappas claims that ban would actually be a lifetime ban if you closely examine the legislation.

PPA Deeply Disappointed in Bill

Pappas said that Gray was simply playing politics by including such amendments in the new bill.

John Pappas
PPA Exec Director John Pappas

There are a group of tribes — including the Pechanga band — that opposed any bill that would allow PokerStars to operate in California.

Here's the statement Pappas released on the bill:

“We are deeply disappointed that Chairman Adam Gray has chosen to play politics at the behest of special interests. The proposed amendments threaten to doom the iPoker legislation for which we and our members have advocated for years.”

“Since the Internet poker debate began in California nearly ten years ago, PPA has been the only consistent voice urging lawmakers to license and regulate Internet poker. During this time, our message remained consistent: protect consumers and promote competition. Unfortunately, some of Chairman Gray’s proposed amendments undermine this principle."

In the bill’s original form PokerStars could have paid a one-time fee of $20 million to the state to bypass the five-year waiting period. That part has been nixed in the newly amended bill.

The bill could go to a vote in the assembly early next week. From there it would be passed along to the senate for consideration.

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