Viejas Releases Radio Ad Attacking PokerStars

Written By James Guill on June 4, 2015 - Last Updated on September 13, 2022
The Viejas Bank of Kumeyaay Indians released a radio ad attacking PokerStars and Amaya that will probably sway voters.

If there was any doubt regarding the stance of certain tribes regarding bad actors in California, a recent radio ad has erased all of it. As first reported on Online Poker Report, an ad recently released by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians throws down the virtual gauntlet at iPoker supporters in the state.

The ad is an outright attack against PokerStars and its parent company Amaya and has clearly been released as a way to try to sway public opinion against the world’s largest poker site.

Viejas Pulled No Punches in Ad

Taking a page out of the Sheldon Adelson playbook, the Viejas have taken facts and spun them in a way to make them fit their view of PokerStars and their parent company Amaya.

The ad starts out by blatantly calling the company an internet scam artist and immediately transitions into the Black Friday charges against PokerStars. They next point out that they paid “$731 million to avoid criminal conviction.”

Next, they attack Amaya, Inc for the recent raid of the company stemming from the AMF investigation of the company’s purchase of PokerStars last year.

Finally, they use a fear tactic that PokerStars can gain access to “every computer, tablet and smartphone in the state” if they are allowed to offer online poker.

Clever Tactics that Could Sway Voters

The bad part about this ad is that it is worded in such a way that it will likely influence voters. If one were to do a minimal amount of research on PokerStars, they would discover that technically everything stated in the ad was true regarding the charges levied and the money paid to the DOJ.

For those pointing out that PokerStars didn’t admit to any wrongdoing, the average listener will be of the opinion of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

The Amaya raid is also technically true despite the fact that it has yet to produce formal charges and the investigation itself is somewhat common after certain acquisitions.

The part that is less likely to be investigated and will probably be assumed true is the claim that PokerStars will gain access to every computerized device in the state. Those unfamiliar with the technology or technologically challenged will assume that the matter will be true and fear will take over their better judgment.

We’re not saying that we agree with what the ad states, but rather that the Viejas took about the best approach they could to sway voters to their side.

The text of the radio spot is below:

The California Legislature should be trying to stop internet scam artists and con men. We deserve to be protected from corrupt companies like PokerStars, which was indicted by the U.S. Government for illegal gambling, bank fraud and money laundering. And paid $731 million to avoid criminal conviction.

PokerStars parent company recently had its headquarters raided as part of an investigation into violations of securities laws, but this hasn’t stopped PokerStars from lobbying out state legislature to allow them to participate in online poker here in California, gaining access to every computer, tablet and smartphone in the state.

This is not right, and we deserve better. Please go to to contact your state legislator and tell them to keep bad actors like PokerStars out of AB431 and out of California.

Paid for by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

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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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