The United States gambling market may just get the support it needs to be able to offer a 'chip and a chair' to the thousands of players waiting in the virtual universe with the news that has recently surfaced concerning Caesars Entertainment Corporation and PokerStars.
Last week a letter from three California tribes, Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, Pala Band of Mission Indians, and United Auburn Indian Community showed their support for two online poker bills in the state. Along with the tribe's support, they also loosened their "bad actors" stance. The victory may be small but to break a log jam, one only has to start with one log.
That was the beginning. Then the home of the World Series of Poker, Caesar Entertainment Corporation, who had been completely against PokerStars' return to the U.S. market, changed their position. Caesars confirmed publicly that an alliance with PokerStars has been formed with regards to the online poker market in the U.S. Caesars currently holds a land-based partnership with Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians in California.
"[W]e need to focus on where our opposition really lies, and clearly it's not Amaya and PokerStars. They are a strong ally in the space," Jan Jones Blackhurst, the Executive Vice President of Governmental Relations for Caesars, told Chris Krafcik of GamblingCompliance.
Blackhurst statement appears to be aimed at Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. Adelson is currently doing everything to institute a federal ban on online gaming — that includes his statement that he would spend whatever it takes to make sure the federal ban on online gaming, the Restoration of America's Wire Act (RAWA), is put into law.
"Amaya and Caesars have enjoyed a very good relationship and business partnership for a number of years. That has not changed since acquiring PokerStars," Eric Hollreiser, Amaya's Head of Corporate Communications, told PokerNews.com. "As part of our ongoing conversations we will work closely with Caesars to promote the US online gaming industry and support responsible legislation at the state and federal levels."
Hollreiser was asked if a push for a federal online poker bill would come from the new alliance between Amaya Gaming, PokerStars owner, and Caesars: "We are working at both state and federal levels. It's clear that a successful and competitive online poker market drives innovation and growth in the overall poker industry, which benefits everyone."
Will Pennsylvania and New York's consideration of iGaming benefit from the new bond forged between PokerStars and Caesars? While New Jersey currently has legal iGaming Caesars previously worked at blocking PokerStars' entrance to the Garden State market — that has been laid to rest. Now the roadblock could be only Adelson...unless the rumors are true about Gov. Chris Christie).