Anti-PokerStars Ad Campaign Begins in California

The war of words surrounding the issue of an online poker bill in California has heated up. The Viejas Band, which is a member of a coalition that supports such legislation, but wants to lock out PokerStars, last week started airing ads attacking the online poker provider.

The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, which leads a coalition of tribes that supports online poker in California, but opposes the participation of PokerStars, has started to run a series of ads attacking the online provider.

Political observers in the Golden State speculate that the intensification of oppositions against PokerStars indicates that the chance of passing a bill is growing fainter for 2015.

The coalition that includes Viejas also opposes the participation of the state’s four racetracks.

The Viejas-paid ad notes the settlement by PokerStars (before it was purchased by Amaya last year) with the U.S. Department of Justice, which had alleged that the online provider broke U.S. law when it allowed U.S. residents to play poker on its offshore websites. The ad urges listeners to contact their representatives and ask them to oppose any legislation that would allow PokerStars to participate.

Now that the tribe has gone public with its negative campaign, lawmakers have been put on notice that the issue is contentious. This automatically makes it somewhat less likely that some of them will vote for it.

The Assembly and Senate will have a joint hearing on iPoker June 24 and the Assembly Governmental Organization committee will discuss it on July 8.