California to Hold One-Day iGaming Conference

Posted on May 9th, 2014 by Robert DellaFave

California to Hold One-Day iGaming ConferenceKey players in California’s prospective iGaming market will offer their thoughts on online poker legislation.

As a follow-up to April’s assembly hearing, Capitol Weekly and & UC Center will be hosting a one-day event to discuss the legislation of online poker in California. Unlike last month’s hearing, the conference will be open to the public.

The conference will be held on May 22, and will feature a myriad of influential figures in the Golden State’s gaming landscape, many of whom were present at the hearing.

Full details regarding the event can be found on Constant Contact.

Morongo Chairman Robert Martin Confirmed

In total, 12 speakers have already been confirmed. Of them, three represent some of the state’s most influential tribes. Other notable speakers include Gambling Control Commission Chair Richard Lopes and David Quintana of the California Tribal Business Alliance. The event details indicate that over “two dozen experts” will take the podium.

But perhaps the most notable name to appear on the list is Morongo Band of Mission Indians Chair Robert Martin.

A little backstory:

At last month’s assembly, the Morongo announced its historic partnership with online poker giant PokerStars and three of California’s most prestigious cardrooms (the Bicycle, the Commerce and Hawaiian Gardens Casino). Should iGaming legislation pass in California, the group intends for PokerStars to be its front facing brand – a move that would undoubtedly shake up the state’s online poker market.

The historic announcement was delivered at the via a joint pressure release mere moments before Martin’s turn to speak. In an impeccable use of dramatic timing, Martin would then use the spotlight to speak strongly against the inclusion of a “bad actor” clause in any California-based regulatory effort.

From that point forward, the initially cordial hearing spiraled into chaos.

Both bills currently on the table bear a bad actor provision. If passed without revision, PokerStars and other companies that accepted U.S. players post-UIGEA would be barred from reentry. It therefore becomes obvious why Martin and his allies would fight against such an item.

Given the presence of Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians Chair, Mark Macarro and Agua Caliente Chair Jeff Grubbe – both of whom are staunch supporters of a bad actor clause – it’s appears quite likely that the bad actor debate will once again shift the focus away from the conference’s other scheduled topics.

Scheduled Panels

Five topics of discussion are scheduled. The first will focus on the fiscal impact of a regulated iPoker market. Subsequent panels will allow tribal interests to express their perspective, and will touch upon the difficulties the Golden State must first overcome before legislation is passed.

Entry into the conference will cost registrants $199. Anyone interested in learning more about the state of online poker in California, especially those who hold PokerStars’ future in high regard, are encouraged to attend.

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