California Moves To Shut Down Iipay Nation’s Real Money Online Bingo Site
Only weeks after California’s Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel tribe opened its real money online bingo site, the state has filed for a restraining order and injunction to shut it down.
On Tuesday, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris asked federal authorities to block the site, Desert Rose Bingo, claiming that it violated a variety of state and federal laws.
“The Tribe’s self-proclaimed ‘groundbreaking’ efforts to make Internet gambling available to Californians ‘anytime and anywhere’ breach the tribal-state class III gaming compact between Tribe and the State, do not comply with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and violate the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act,” the complaint stated.
Bending the law through technology
Earlier this month, Santa Ysabel unexpectedly opened the real money bingo site, claiming that it was breaking no laws in doing so. The tribe partnered with technology firm Great Luck LLC and described the complex scheme which it says ensures that all betting would technically takes place on tribal grounds.
According to a press release, bettors make their wagers through a “proxy” with no live game action being performed by the user. “This ensures that all gameplay takes place on tribal lands, under the jurisdiction of the tribal government and is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations,” the tribe claimed.
State authorities disagree, however, and said that the venture “constitutes an imminent threat to the public health, safety, and welfare of the State’s residence, and a threat to good order.”
Play not restricted to tribal areas
The Atty. Gen. further claimed that the geolocation technology utilized by Santa Ysabel was not sufficiently capable of limiting players to the tribe’s lands. To prove the point, investigators opened an account and were able to successfully bet for real money outside of the tribe’s property.
The state also revealed that it contacted the tribe in July after it announced that it would open real money online gambling sites, but the Santa Ysabel never acquiesced to a meeting.
The Santa Ysabel had not only planned to open a bingo site, but also intended to launch real money online poker. After several delays, the tribe unexpectedly announced Desert Rose Bingo and claims that the online poker venture “is not a bluff” and that it will be coming soon.