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Statement By Chairperson Leslie Lohse Regarding The Partnership Negotiations Among PokerStars, The Morongo Band Of Mission Indians, And Three Southern California Card Clubs

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Recent accounts in the media indicate that PokerStars is in partnership negotiations with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and three large Southern California Card Clubs to offer online poker in California.

The news accounts come at a particularly opportunistic time, when the California State Legislature will be debating two measures that will authorize the play of online poker within California's borders.

One of the most significant issues in the legislative discussions is who will be allowed to offer online poker in California.  From the California Tribal Business Alliance's (CTBA) perspective, only entities that adhere to the highest regulatory standards, such as those used in the regulation of Indian gaming, should be licensed to provide online play.

Following the enactment of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) making online gambling illegal, PokerStars refused to shutter its site.  In 2011, the Department of Justice issued orders mandating the site close down, filed a civil action to seize the company's assets acquired post-UIGEA, and threatened imprisonment alleging, among other things, Conspiracy, Money Laundering, Bank Fraud and violations of the Wire Act.  In settlement, they paid a $731 million fine, but admitted no wrongdoing.

In light of the partnership negotiations among PokerStars, Morongo, and the three card clubs, the Member Tribes of CTBA will continue to work diligently to ensure any online poker authorization bill will impose strong controls, mandate disclosures, and promote the highest standards of integrity in the gaming industry. Therefore we will strongly oppose any legislation which allows PokerStars to participate.

  • The Honorable Leslie Lohse is the Treasurer of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and Chairperson of the California Tribal Business Alliance.

SOURCE California Tribal Business Alliance

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