Not surprisingly, the PokerStars Coalition is standing behind efforts to usher in the era of legalized online poker in the State of California.
The announcement comes as the California Assembly Governmental Organization Committee will hold next week an informational hearing on an online poker bill (AB 2863) that’s up for consideration.
Ahead of the weekend the PokerStars coalition sent a resounding letter of support to the legislator (Adam Gray) who introduced AB 2863.
The following is a copy of the letter sent by the PokerStars Coalition:
On behalf of a broad coalition of tribal governments, card clubs and online operators, we write in support of your AB 2863, your bill to protect consumers, create jobs, and strengthen our state’s economy by authorizing and regulating intrastate, Internet Poker in California. Authorizing online poker will be good for millions of consumers and poker players who will benefit from a safe, regulated, commercial gaming environment where they are protected and assured that the games are fair and honest.
We are proud to support this bill which would establish a vibrant, competitive marketplace, provide superior consumer protections, require strict oversight and regulation of licensees and service providers, and ensure that the state receives a reasonable return.
Our coalition has worked closely with legislators and other interested parties to thoroughly vet this policy issue since 2008. After years of research and deliberation, your leadership has produced a bill with broad support from California’s Indian tribes, the larger gaming community, and internet poker players. We are optimistic that with your continued leadership and direct consultations with interested parties, this comprehensive piece of legislation can reach Governor Brown’s desk and earn his signature.
As you know, there have been many informational hearings over the last 9 years in the Senate on this subject matter and we appreciate your informational hearing last summer in the Assembly that brought a cross‐section of stakeholders to the Capitol to engage in a thoughtful discussion. With this extensive deliberation and dialogue, the major roadblocks that have prevented iPoker legislation from moving forward have now been resolved.
We also appreciate your inclusive, transparent approach for getting all parties to dialogue. We are confident the few remaining issues can be resolved and an agreement can be reached to finalize AB 2863 as it moves through the legislative process.
Our coalition does have some concerns with the bill as drafted and proposed amendments that we have seen. Namely, we are concerned about provisions that would restrict the ability to use customer databases, as that will only serve to stunt the growth of the iPoker market and the revenues available to the state.
Nonetheless, we support AB 2863 and look forward to working with you, your staff and all interested parties to move this bill through the legislative process without delay. Every year that California fails to act not only puts consumers at risk while playing online games from unregulated offshore localities that provide few protections, but our state also loses out on collecting hundreds of millions of dollars that can be used for essential programs like public schools, public safety, healthcare and social services.
Again, thank you for introducing this much needed legislation.
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians
Morongo Band of Mission Indians
Hawaiian Gardens Casino