PokerStars leads 'responsible' coalition in California

PokerStars leads 'responsible' coalition in California

Monday, June 22, 2015 Totally Gaming
PokerStars has been criticised by opponents such as the Viejas Band

Online gambling giant PokerStars has joined with tribal groups and cardrooms to launch a coalition aimed at highlighting a regulated and customer-friendly future for online poker in California. 

Californians for Responsible iPoker (CRiP) includes PokerStars as well as the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and the Commerce, Bicycle and Hawaiian Gardens cardrooms, and has released a statement of principles and a summary of core beliefs.

The move comes following criticism of PokerStars via a radio spot sponsored by the protectionist Californian tribe Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, which accused the Amaya-owned brand of being “scam artists”.

Among the statement of principles are that California’s marketplace should be inclusive so consumers have choice and access to trusted online poker brands and extend California’s strict consumer protections and high standards of accountability to intrastate real-money online poker.

The group also wants to ensure that California and its residents benefit from state-authorised online poker, calls for a requirement that stringent regulatory vetting of operators and service providers takes place before authorising licenses and states that regulators should determine suitability of participants and legislation should not be used to provide competitive advantages.

As well as highlighting the possibilities of a regulated online market, the fact that groups are working together will be pleasing to many gambling industry proponents, with Congressman Jon Porter, president and chief executive of Porter Gordon Silver (PGS), earlier this year telling that cooperation and promotion of a responsible outlook is vital in the US.

Speaking generally about how the gambling industry can still win over new supporters, he added: “The majority of lawmakers either have never even thought about iGaming or have unfounded concerns. I have heard senators concerned that iGaming can lead to an expansion of global terrorism.

“When I sit down with them with a laptop or iPad I can show them just how secure iGaming sites are, and to a person they are shocked. They are surprised to see that you have to sign in and actually give more information than you might at a casino, and that it is the same technology that one might use if they were logging into their bank account.

“I’m very optimistic about the future of iGaming in the US. The future is in the hands of the industry and how it can win people over. I was delighted to see how it united in the face of real legislative pressure at the end of 2014 and hopefully it can build on that.”

CriP’s nine core values include the promotion of a “a well-protected, responsible iPoker environment” in California, keeping players’ deposits safe through the use of regulated and segregated accounts and keeping underage gamblers from participating on future California iPoker sites.

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