Exclusive: Phil Ivey Signs as Brand Ambassador for Tribal Online Poker in California

Professional poker player Phil Ivey is set to be the frontman for a joint venture between the Pala Band of Mission Indians and former bwin.party CEO Jim Ryan, pokerfuse PRO has learned.

The new entity, Pala Interactive, plans to offer online poker and casino games in California upon regulation within the state. And though the deal is currently limited to potential offerings in California, the agreement could be extended beyond the state at a later date.

Pala Interactive is slated to use software provided by Realtime Edge Software (RTE), a company that lists bwin.party, GTECH, RocketFrog and ClubWPT among its clients.

The company Pala Interactive LLC was registered in February 2013, public records show. Susan Basinger, an Attorney who lists the Pala Band of Mission Indians as a previous client, is the registered agent for the business. The domain PalaInteractive.com was registered in January.

Phil Ivey, a sponsored pro at Full Tilt prior to Black Friday, is today the face of Ivey Poker. The new venture acquired poker training site LeggoPoker, built an impressive roster of pros, and this week launched a social poker app on Facebook. The California deal is an unrelated brand agreement.

The success of Pala Interactive will depend on how the iGaming laws take shape in California. US regulators in Nevada and New Jersey have focused on suitability of key personnel for both licensees and service providers. Regulations so far proposed in California, supported by tribes, have also included such language.