Pala Tribe Using New Jersey to Improve Position in California

Written By James Guill on November 19, 2014 - Last Updated on September 13, 2022 and California online poker

The Pala Band of Mission Indians have officially launched (beta) in New Jersey and are the only tribe in the nation offering fully legalized and regulated iGaming. When the tribe announced their partnership with Borgata, some were speculative considering the recent failure of Ultimate Gaming.

While concern regarding New Jersey is understandable, one should take a broader view of Pala’s involvement. The tribe is very possibly positioning themselves to become a major player in California online poker with New Jersey merely proving a fertile testing ground.

Regulation Changes in New Jersey Can Help Keep Pala Competitive

Recent regulatory changes in New Jersey could provide a way for the Pala and other online casinos to remain competitive with Borgata and Caesars. Casinos are now allowed to offer their own gaming products and do not have to share them with other sites as was the case for much of the first year of New Jersey iGaming.

Pala is already taking advantage of this with the Spin for $1 Million promotion. No other casino is currently offering users a daily free spin win cash prizes ranging from $1 to $1 million. This exclusive promotion will certainly draw players to the site and if the site can continue with these types of unique ideas, it will help make them competitive.

Platform Will Be Ready and Tested When California Legalizes

When we went to, the first thing noticed up top was a little banner box for That’s right folks, Pala is going to launch a poker site in New Jersey. With PokerStars supposedly still on the way to New Jersey, this move seems a bit futile.

PokerStars, Borgata and Caesars will certainly dominate the New Jersey marketplace, so why make a site? The answer is California. Regardless of whether it is 2015 or 2016, most feel online poker is coming soon to California and Pala is going to use New Jersey to get ready.

Pala Poker will launch in New Jersey and they have a state full of players that can test the software, kick the tires, and give feedback. They can use New Jersey to perfect their online poker platform for the eventual rollover to California.

When California legalizes the game, Pala Poker will be ready to launch and the Pala tribe will be ahead of every other tribe in the state besides the Morongo – that assumes PokerStars is allowed into the state right away. If PokerStars is delayed, Pala could become one of the early frontrunners in California online poker with Caesars.

PokerStars Delay Could Make Pala a Player in New Jersey Poker

While Ultimate Gaming ultimately failed in New Jersey, it did prove that there was a bit of a market for poker outside of Caesars and Borgata. Most will agree that any wiggle room in the market will all but be eliminated once PokerStars hits New Jersey. But what happens if PokerStars continues to be delayed?

We heard that PokerStars would be in New Jersey before Halloween, then Thanksgiving and now rumors say that early 2015 is the expected launch. If Pala Poker launches and PokerStars is nowhere to be seen, this could open the door for them to take the market share once enjoyed by Ultimate Gaming. What happens if Pala Poker is able to gain a foothold in the New Jersey market? It helps the site improve and grow, making it a stronger company for California online poker.

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James Guill

Originally a semi-professional player, James transitioned to the media side in 2008. Since then he has made a name for himself reporting for some of the top names in the industry. When not covering the poker world, James travels around central Virginia hunting for antique treasure.

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