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A new initiative to bring regulated online poker to California has been launched by PokerStars and its coalition pals, the Morongo and San Manuel tribes, and the state’s top three cardrooms.

Californians for Responsible iPoker is now live at californians4ipoker.com, with obligatory Twitter and Facebook accounts. The logo is a cool-looking green and white poker chip, with the geographical outline of the state of California in the center.

Kudos on the design, which was a much better choice than demonstrating how the coalition may really feel, such as an image of legislation that includes bad actor language being burnt to a crisp.

Under Attack

The initiative asks those who visit the website to “Join Us to Bring iPoker to California.” The website explains that the coalition consists of “tribes, card rooms and business who understand that California state residents are best served and protected by the introduction of robust and responsible iPoker legislation.”

The movement was likely prompted by a recent attack on PokerStars perpetuated by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, who used a few choice words such as “corrupt” and “scam artists” when referring to PokerStars in a radio advertisement. Also mentioned in the ad was the fact that PokerStars’ relatively new owner, Amaya, is under investigation in Canada for possible insider trading violations related to the $4.9 billion acquisition.

No charges of wrongdoing have been found in that probe, nor has any wrongdoing been proven in a court of law regarding PokerStars and their decision to continue operating in the U.S. post-UIGEA. But that has not stopped the critics from labeling PokerStars as a bad actor, even after the new ownership of Amaya took over last year.

Coming to a Cardroom Near You

Clicking around the new website, one comes across a page entitled “PokerStars Pro Tour.” In an effort to promote goodwill, PokerStars Team Pros such as Daniel Negreanu, Vanessa Selbst and Chris Moneymaker are scheduled to take seats at poker tables at California card clubs, allowing state residents to rub elbows with poker’s elite.

Those cardrooms, of course, will be the ones that are part of the coalition – Hawaiian Gardens, Commerce and the Bike. However, if you’d like any of those PokerStars pros to make a stop at your favorite California cardroom, just send an email stating so and perhaps Jason Mercier or Moneymaker can be squeezed in as part of the as yet unannounced tour.

Standing For ….

Another feature of the new website describes what the coalition stands for, listing the “10 Reasons We Want iPoker in California.” Those who have been following the push for regulated online poker in California – and other states – know the reasons quite well by now.

Revenue for the state, jobs, safety and protection of funds, awareness and help for those who gamble irresponsibly, keeping children off the sites – they all make the list. Perhaps most important, is that “Millions of Californians play poker and they should be allowed to play from their own home in a well-protected, responsible iPoker environment.”

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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