There were 10 states who were considering the legalization of online poker in the United States and California was considered to be the state most likely to be first in line in launching online poker operations.
However, the state of California recently confirmed that it had decided to say no to online poker for now as there were a lot of legalities to be considered before making a final decision. The state will review the bill relating to the legalization of online poker towards the end of December 2014.
This decision has not deterred the Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission from going ahead with the launch of its own online poker website www.PrivateTable.com. The tribe is expected to launch live poker operations before the end of August 2014. The tribe will provide residents of California the opportunity to play with real money poker offerings. As of now, poker players who access the website will have to be physically present within the state of California to have access.
Dave Vialpando, the Chairman of the Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission expects a positive response from the first ever live online poker website in California. When asked if the recently verdict by the California legislation against online poker will affect the tribe’s operations, Vialpando said
Our authority to offer class II gaming from our reservation is not prohibited by any statute. In fact, we believe it is covered by IGRA. We have been fully cooperative with all the government agencies that have asked us questions, in fact with anyone who has asked us questions. Most of our regulations are public documents, so it’s pretty much full disclosure for us. We did form an alliance with the California Council on Problem Gambling and we have just put the finishing touches on what we think is a model responsible gambling program for internet gaming providers
Vialpando also said that he expects some of the other tribes in California to also launch their poker websites. One of the reasons why some of the other tribes in California have been hesitant to venture into the online poker market is because they believe that it might affect their brick & mortar casino business. Now that the Santa Ysabel tribe has decided to lead from the front, more tribes will follow suit but Vialpando welcomed the competition.
PrivateTable will soon establish and affiliate program that will help the website expand and grow its player base.