Amaya Group links up with San Manuel in California

Amaya Group links up with San Manuel in California

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Amaya Group has strengthened its standing in California by signing up another partner.

The Canadian gaming group, which owns PokerStars, has added San Manuel Band of Mission Indians to its coalition as the gaming sector prepares for the possible legalisation of online poker in the most populous US state.

San Manuel has agreed to join the existing business agreement between Amaya, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and California’s three largest card clubs – the Commerce Club, the Hawaiian Gardens Casino and the Bicycle Casino.

Under the partnership agreement, all parties will jointly form a licensed online poker website and will work together to push for the legalisation of this form of gambling in California.

Amaya’s PokerStars could benefit from its partnerships because, as things stand, they would be barred from applying for a licence in California due to the so-called ‘bad actor’ clause.

Guy Templer, the group business development director of PokerStars, said: “San Manuel is a strong, forward-thinking operator and is a great partner to join our coalition in advocating for the development of an open and well regulated iPoker market in California.

“We are looking forward to working with the Legislature and with other stakeholders to help develop an industry that will benefit California consumers and the State alike.”

While internet poker bills introduced by California Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer and Senator Lou Correa were withdrawn earlier this year, they are set to be introduced when the next legislative session begins in December.

In May, a report by Capitol Matrix Consulting estimated that online poker in California would generate $800m (€587m) and create more than 2,000 jobs for the state’s economy by the end of the decade.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena said: “We are pleased to join this coalition. We are convinced that the various interests must work together if we are to be successful in establishing a well-regulated environment and the best-in-class Internet poker industry for California.”

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