Wednesday 30. December, 2015

Iowa Tribe to Launch International Online Poker Site

The small Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is planning to launch an International online poker site, making it the first tribe in the state to do so. The decision comes after an arbitrator ruled in November that this would not constitute a violation of federal or state laws, but would rather fall under the Oklahoma Tribal-State Gaming Compact. Last week, a US District Court Judge in Oklahoma City was asked to certify the arbitrator’s decision.

In September, Gov. Mary Fallin and the tribe agreed to go to arbitration over whether the state’s gaming compact with the tribes covered online gaming operations. Charles Chapel, a retired Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals judge was appointed as arbitrator.

On November 24, Chapel submitted his ruling which stated that “use of the Internet is merely using technology to play covered games as a way to increase tribal revenue. It does not extend or restrict the scope of the games and does not amend the compact in any way.”

The tribe hopes to launch the poker site, pokertribe.com, during 2016. The site will allow players from around the world to wager on real money real-time games. It will launch with poker only, but there are already plans for an expansion that will include pokies, blackjack, baccarat, bingo and pull-tab games.

Iowa Tribe has signed a software licensing deal with Florida-based Universal Entertainment Group. According to Isaias Almira, manager of Universal Entertainment Group, the site will be accessible to the International market, as well as players in states with legalised online gambling, such as New Jersey and Nevada.

This ruling is not limited to this tribe alone, but rather applies to all tribes in Oklahoma and the launch of the Iowa Tribe site will open many possibilities for other Oklahoma tribes to launch similar websites.

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