The insider trading charges laid against Amaya’s temporarily departed CEO David Baazov could represent a threat to the California online poker legalisation alliance that subsidiary Pokerstars has formed with cardrooms and tribal groups, according to a report in the publication Online Poker Report this week.
The report notes that Lynn Valbuena, an influential leader in alliance member San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, expressed “deep concerns” two weeks back at a meeting of tribal leaders and lobbyists organised by Assemblyman Adam Gray, who is trying to resolve the seemingly endless Californian political impasse on legalisation (see previous reports).
“San Manuel has deep concerns about these latest Amaya revelations,” Valbuena reportedly said, referencing the securities charges facing Amaya chief David Baazov. “Our council is looking into this and we will get back to all of you.”
OPR emphasises that Baazov has denied all charges laid by the Quebec securities regulator L’Autorite des marches financiers (AMF).
Valbuena’s remarks apparently surprised many of those at the meeting, including two other tribes (Morongo Band of Mission Indians and United Auburn Indian Community) and three card rooms (Bicycle Club, Commerce Club and Hawaiian Gardens) in a coalition with Amaya to legalize online poker in California, OPR notes.
“Six of seven San Manuel council members also attended the meeting, which would seem to indicate they shared Valbuena’s concerns,” OPR adds.
Requests to the tribal council to elaborate were not successful this week, with Matthew Cullen, chief executive of San Manuel Digital merely confirming that the tribe had reviewed the recent New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s decision to renew the transactional waiver allowing Pokerstars to operate in New Jersey for a further six months.
“We support the regulators’ intent to assure that all entities which engage in regulated gaming activities, including Amaya, maintain their suitability for licensure,” Cullen wrote.