California

San Manuel Tribal Nation Joins Pro-PokerStars California Coalition

PokerStars and California’s San Manuel tribal nation have jointly announced that the powerful San Manuel band has joined a growing coalition that hopes to unite all pro-gaming and pro-online-poker interests in California in the hopes of overcoming strong opposition and finally bringing formally regulated intrastate online poker to the Golden State.

CaliforniaThe growing pro-PokerStars California coalition naturally includes PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, which has been targeted by other California tribal interests hoping to declare the online giant a “bad actor,” and thus deny it access to what would be, if legalized, the United States’ largest single-state online poker market.

The leaders of the fight against PokerStars were an ii-tribe coalition spearheaded by the Pechanga and Pala tribal nations.  The San Manuels, formally the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, were also formerly a member of that anti-Stars coalition, but have instead sought a more cooperative approach in the hopes of achieving legalized online poker in the state in 2015.

The San Manuel nation will now join with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and three prominent Los Angeles card rooms — Commerce, The Bike and Hawaiian Gardens — in working with PokerStars to help convince legislators to draft online poker legislation that can be supported by all of the state’s pro-gaming interests.

Today’s announcement also continues a time-honored PokerStars tradition of making important news announcements in conjunction with major upticks of interest in other news in the poker world — in this case, tonight’s conclusion of the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas.

Here’s the complete text of the press release plus the info blurb about the San Manuels’ background, hot from the inbox:

——————————————————————————————

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Joins with Morongo Band of Mission Indians, California’s Largest Card Clubs and Amaya to Offer Online Poker in California when Authorizing Legislation is Passed

Addition of San Manuel reflects “new day” where gaming interests must work together in order to finally pass online poker legislation in California.

Sacramento, CA, November 11, 2014 – The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians announced today that it has agreed to join the existing business agreement between the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, California’s three largest card clubs – the Commerce Club, the Hawaiian Gardens Casino and the Bicycle Casino – and the Amaya Gaming Group, which owns and operates PokerStars.

These gaming operators will join together to operate a licensed online poker site in California once legislation is enacted to authorize iPoker. This coalition will also work together to advocate for legislation that extends California’s tough, long-established gaming regulations to include intrastate online poker.

“We are pleased to join this coalition,” said Lynn Valbuena, Chairwoman – San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. “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.”

“We’re pleased to welcome San Manuel to our coalition. It marks a new day in our efforts to authorize online poker in California,” Morongo Band of Mission Indians Tribal Chairman Robert Martin said. “We’re excited about the momentum and opportunities this new agreement represents in getting legislation passed. As tribes come together on this issue, the opportunity for success grows.”

Speaking on behalf of the three card clubs, attorney Keith Sharp said, “We are very pleased to welcome San Manuel to our coalition. We look forward to working with legislators and our industry colleagues to pass a bill that provides strong regulation and consumer protection.”

Guy Templer, Group Business Development Director with 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.”

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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. …

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