Iipay Nation Responds To Bingo Site Injunction Request

Iipay Nation smaller bannerEarlier this month, the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel defiantly opened Desert Rose Bingo, a real money gambling site which uses a software workaround to allow players to bet from anywhere in California. State Attorney General Kamala Harris, however, was quick to file a motion to shut down the site, claiming that it violated state and federal law.

Now, the Iipay Nation has responded to the legal action against it, and claims that the entire operation is well within the law. “The Virtual Private Network Assisted Play System (VPNAPS) allows the tribe to offer Class II electronic linked bingo gaming conducted on Indian lands using a proxy system,” it said in a 24 page response.

The tribe asserts that the state is illegally attempting to deny it its legal right to offer gaming sanctioned by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). “California once again seeks to undermine tribal sovereignty, innovation and economic initiative by seeking injunctive and declaratory relief from the court declaring that the tribe may not conduct its legal IGRA Class II bingo gaming,” the brief continued.

The Iipay Nation goes on to write that the state’s claims against it “are barred by the tribal sovereign immunity doctrine and are subject to dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.”

State authorities believe differently, and are hoping to convince a judge to grant the restraining order and injunction they requested earlier this week. In a motion filed with a federal court, the Attorney General said that the tribe had breached its compact with the state and does not comply with the IGRA or the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

So far, no online gambling legislation has been passed in California explicitly legalizing the industry. After two online poker bills were tabled in the state legislature in August, the Iipay Nation decided to take matters into their own hands and announced that it would be launching its own online poker site, PrivateTable.

The tribe later opened the site for play chips, but has yet to start accepting deposits for real money. After the launch of Desert Rose Bingo, tribal officials told the press that they would soon allow play for real money, and that it was not a bluff.