Californians for Responsible iPoker is going all-in on its efforts to legalize online poker in the Golden State.
Led by Amaya and its PokerStars brand, the world’s largest iPoker network, the organization has gained support from tribes and card rooms including the Morongo and San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and the state’s leading poker rooms, Commerce, Hawaiian Gardens, and Bicycle casinos.
“Today, millions of California poker players cannot play the game we love online, while other states and dozens of countries have authorized iPoker,” the group’s website says. “Authorizing a well-regulated iPoker market in California will protect the state’s poker-playing consumers, support local business, and generate both jobs and revenue in California.”
The most important poker network on the planet has been waiting patiently for its return to the United States, sitting quietly as state regulators in New Jersey mull over the PokerStars license application, but the online card room is becoming tired of hanging in the background.
In May, PokerStars sent two of its most well-known and respected ambassadors, Daniel Negreanu and Jason Somerville, to hold a live demo in Sacramento showcasing what online poker looks like and to provide information on a regulated market to attendees.
And now just 30 days later, PokerStars has launched a group effort to further online poker in America’s most-populated state.
“California state residents are best served and protected by the introduction of robust and responsible iPoker legislation,” the “About Us” page reads. “We want every Californian who believes they should have the freedom to safely play the game they love online to join the movement.”
Californians for Responsible iPoker lists 10 reasons for their motivation, touching on everything from the fact players are currently using illegal offshore sites that are prone to corruptness, keeping children safe, and profiting from gaming revenues to support key state programs.
“Authorizing a well-regulated iPoker market in California will protect the state’s poker-playing consumers, support local business, and generate both jobs and revenue in California,” the mission statement declares.
With several states currently considering online gaming expansion including Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida, PokerStars doesn’t seem concerned with those jurisdictions, instead focusing its attention on California.
That’s primarily due to California’s mammoth market potential, and it being one of the more likely states to pass an online poker bill in 2015.
Assemblyman Adam Gray’s (D-District 21) AB 431 is the leading proposition, a bill that would permit online poker and doesn’t block so-called “Bad Actors,” networks that illegally operated in the US following the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006.
PokerStars and its sister network Full Tilt both continued accepting American players in its rooms until poker’s Black Friday in April of 2011.
It’s now been four years since PokerStars left the American market, but it’s becoming obvious from its public campaigning that the network and its parent company Amaya is growing impatient.
It can also be said that frustration is mounting among online poker fans who recognize the importance of bringing the most active iPoker network to the states.
If Californians for Responsible iPoker has its way, that will soon change.