PokerStars Continues its ‘Let California Play’ Road Show

PokerStars is trying to build up a grassroots demand for the legalization of iPoker. It has taken its Let California Play pro tour to several card rooms in the state to pressure the legislature to adopt an iPoker bill this year. The tour includes appearances by poker superstars such as Daniel Negreanu (l.) and Chris Moneymaker.

PokerStars is continuing to promote the legalization of iPoker in a tour of California’s card rooms. Its most recent stop in the Let California Play pro tour was the Napa Valley Casino.

About 100 poker players took part in the tour at that location, including professional poker legends Daniel Negreanu and Chris Moneymaker. Moneymaker says that he still practices several hours a day online to keep his game sharp.

Negreanu has won the World Poker Tour championship twice and Moneymaker has won it once. Moneymaker rose to fame playing online poker, which is currently illegal in the Golden State. PokerStars would like to change that fact.

The California legislature is currently looking at three bills that would legalize the game. The one seen as having the best chance this year is Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer’s AB 167, the Internet Poker Consumer Protection Act of 2015.

According to PokerStars spokesman Lee Jones, “There are millions of poker players in California, and they deserve to be able to play poker in the comfort of their own homes. Until iPoker is regulated in California, online players are going to play at unauthorized sites, which puts them at risk. Yes, there is risk in gambling, but when you play online poker, you should be able to play knowing that your financial information is protected and that you will be paid your winnings.”

The purpose of the tour is to generate a grassroots support for the game and pressure California lawmakers to move some bill this year.

Although some opponents of legalizing iPoker fear that it could negatively impact brick and mortar casinos, Napa Valley Casino owner Brian Altizer told the Napa Valley Register he thinks it will actually generate more business. “It can be intimidating to walk into a card room and sit down at a table with a bunch of strangers,” Altizer said. “For people who want to learn about poker and work at improving their game, online poker is a great thing. You can play in your pajamas if that’s what you want. You can take the time to practice and build confidence so that when you feel comfortable, you can come to the casinos and card houses and try your luck.”