James Guill

According to a report yesterday by onlinepokerreport.com, PokerStars is joining the fight to get online poker legalized in California. They may have also entered into a tentative agreement with a California card room.

Former United States House of Representatives Majority Leader Dick Gephardt has apparently joined the lobbying team representing PokerStars.com and has recently been meeting with lawmakers at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.

Aides to Gephardt have revealed that PokerStars may have already secured a deal with the Hawaiian Gardens casino. Hawaiian Gardens is like most other card rooms in the Los Angeles area with a strong focus on poker.

Even if PokerStars was successful in helping the game to get legalized in the state, there are no guarantees that the site would be able to offer online poker. Most every bill currently under consideration in the state has some sort of “bad actor” clause, and that includes the Pechanga Bill.

The Pechanga Bill at present is said to have the best chance of making it through the state legislature due to the strong support by the state’s Indian tribes. It not only includes a bad actor clause but also looks to limit online poker in regards to scope. The games will only be available within California borders with no chance of expansion via interstate compacts. In addition, the tribes have showed opposition to allowing any overseas operators into the state.

Without knowing any other details, one can assume that PokerStars is lobbying for an online poker solution in the state that does not include a bad actor clause and will allow the company into the state. If their deal with Hawaiian Gardens is indeed a reality, one would also take away that the company is confident in being able to enter the state. Time will tell when a bill will be passed and whether PokerStars can continue their expansion in the US online poker market.