Californian tribe loses iGaming case

california indian igaming

California denied the Indian tribe right to operate iGaming platform, Credits: addiction.com

A lower court in California ruled against a local Indian tribe that used to offer iGaming services.

US.- A Californian lower court ruled against the Santa Ysabel Band of Diegueño Mission Indians of the Santa Ysabel Reservation for the tribe’s seemingly illegal iGaming operations. Back in 2014, the tribe’s Gaming Commission Chairman Dave Vialpando revealed it had developed an online poker site called PrivateTable.com.

Californian authorities considered the iGaming platform as illegal gaming, although the tribe argued that they were operating online casino services legally under the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). However, the lower court ruled this week that Santa Ysabel’s Desert Rose Bingo violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

Operating as Santa Ysabel Interactive, the tribe was “exerting its sovereign right under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to regulate and conduct Class II gaming from the tribe’s reservation.” But latest rulings repeating by local courts affirming the supremacy of the UIGEA over IGRA ended the tribe’s battle to allow iGaming operations in their reservation.

The summary for the rule reads: “The panel held that Iipay Nation’s operation of Desert Rose Casino violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (“UIGEA”). The panel held that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act protected gaming activity conducted on Indian lands, but the patrons’ act of placing a bet or wager on a game of Desert Rose Casino while located in California, violated the UIGEA, and was not protected by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The panel further held that even if all of the “gaming activity” associated with Desert Rose Casino occurred on Indian lands, the patrons’ act of placing bets or wagers over the internet while located in a jurisdiction where those bets or wagers were illegal made Iipay Nation’s decision to accept financial payments associated with those bets or wagers a violation of the UIGEA.”