Today the LA Times editorialized  that California lawmakers should “ignore the industry squabbling and focus on protecting consumers” by passing online poker legislation that establishes an open, competitive iPoker marketplace.

“A regulated online poker industry is better for the public than the unregulated and illegal games found today in the underground Internet,” the editorial said. “And more competition in that market is better than less competition.”

The Times' long-standing position echoes our coalition’s sentiments that a competitive marketplace with strong consumer protections and strict oversight should be the foundation for any iPoker bills moving forward.

Key excerpts from the editorial:

  • “Like it or not, an enormous number of Californians are playing poker online already."
  • "Establishing a legal, regulated poker system would also enable the state to track and tax gambling revenue, raising money for oversight and enforcement.”
  • “Rather than picking winners and losers among tribes and card rooms, lawmakers should set eligibility requirements that protect consumers from fraud and exploitation, and then let state regulators decide who meets them.”

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, California’s three largest card clubs –Commerce Casino, Hawaiian Gardens Casino and Bicycle Casino – and Amaya Inc. which owns and operates PokerStars  joined together in a formal agreement in 2014 to work jointly to promote legislation that authorizes and regulates intrastate real-money online poker in California.

About the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. The Serrano Indians are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys and mountains who share a common language and culture. The San Manuel reservation was established in 1891 and recognized as a sovereign nation with the right of self-government. Since time immemorial, the San Manuel tribal community has endured change and hardship. Amidst these challenges the tribe continued to maintain its unique form of governance. Like other governments it seeks to provide a better quality of life for its citizens by building infrastructure, maintaining civil services and promoting social, economic and cultural development. Today San Manuel tribal government oversees many governmental units including the departments of fire, public safety, education and environment. San Manuel operates San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino.

About the Morongo Band of Mission Indians

The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is a federally-recognized Indian Tribe that operates the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa near Banning (Riverside County), California, under a Class III gaming compact with the State of California. The Tribe exercises governmental jurisdiction over the 34,000+ acre Morongo Indian Reservation. Since 2009, the Morongo Band has been in the forefront of efforts to give California's online poker players renewed access to the online games from which they've been excluded since 2011. The Tribe's California LLC, Morongo Internet Poker, is one of the members of the California Internet Poker LLC.

About Commerce Casino

Commerce Casino, the largest poker casino in the world, has more than 200 tables featuring about every form of poker: Texas Hold 'em, 7-Card Stud, Omaha, Pot Limit, Mexican Poker, Pineapple, Draw, Low-Ball and many others. Commerce Casino is recognized for its innovative "Bring Your Home Game to Commerce" program enabling poker fans to invite friends/family for a casual home game, bachelor party or birthday celebration with a professional dealer in a casino setting.  Commerce Casino is located at 6131 East Telegraph Rd., Commerce, CA 90040, just off the Santa Ana (5) Freeway at the Washington Blvd. exit. For more information, go to CommerceCasino.com or call 323.721.2100.

About Bicycle Casino

The Bicycle Casino has been a premier gaming destination in Southern California since it’s opening in 1984. Located in Bell Gardens, it has historical employed nearly 2,000 people hosting daily customers, international visitors and poker celebrities. Under the leadership of General Partners Bob Carter and Hashem Minaiy, they are expanding their facility which will soon open a world class 100 room luxury hotel to accommodate their growing tournament business.

Active participants in their community, the Bike (as it’s commonly known) contributes significant resources to the public safety and recreational needs of its Bell Gardens neighbors, provides 60% of the City of Bell Gardens annual budget, and through its Bicycle Casino Community Foundation, provides several thousands of dollars  annually in college scholarships to deserving students.

About Hawaiian Gardens Casino

Hawaiian Gardens Casino has been an integral part of the City of Hawaiian Gardens for nearly 20 years. The Hawaiian Garden Casino opened with five tables and has grown to nearly 200 tables in our current 59,500 square foot facility. Hawaiian Gardens Casino is the second largest card club and ranks second in revenue in the world. Hawaiian Gardens Casino is presently constructing a new 220,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art casino. Scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016, this new facility will include 300 gaming tables as well as a restaurant, lounge, VIP gaming section and event center capable of hosting 75 tournament tables.

About Amaya Inc.

Amaya Inc., owns and operates gaming and related businesses and brands including PokerStars, Full Tilt, the European Poker Tour, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. These brands collectively form the largest poker business in the world, comprising online poker games and tournaments, live poker competitions and poker programming created for television and online audiences. In addition to operating two of the largest online poker sites, Amaya Inc. is the largest producer of live poker events around the world. Amaya Inc. also provides interactive and physical gaming solutions to the regulated gaming industry. For more information please visit www.amayagaming.com.