Indian tribe launches first real-money gaming site in California

By David Cook
The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel has launched a real-money bingo site, defying California’s online gambling laws.

Online gambling is currently prohibited in the state, and it is not yet known if the Indian tribe is going to face legal action.

The tribe initially planned to launch an online poker site but has since decided to focus its efforts on bingo site

A regulatory framework is not currently set up for this form of gaming, however the tribe believes it is within its rights to offer such services.

The Indian Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988 gives the tribe the right to exercise its sovereign rights to offer Class II games, while regulation is being provided by its own tribal authority.

Bingo and poker games fall under Class II of the IGRA, whereas Class III games would involve house-banked games and slot machines, which would require an agreement between the tribe and the state.

A statement from the tribe said: “At no time is live bingo game action performed by the user. This ensures that all game play takes place on Tribal lands, under the jurisdiction of the Tribal government and is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”

Real-money online poker remains a possibility for the tribe, as announced it is set to go live soon on its Twitter page by stating: “Today is the start of the next era. Phase I launched today, and Phase II launches soon. Bingo…then Poker! It has begun.”


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