Indian Tribe Bingo Launch Short-Lived as State Questions Legitimacy

Iipay California Desert Rose

Federal officials file papers against the Iipay Nation on the grounds of Internet gambling breach

The Iipay Nation was so overjoyed when they became the first Tribal government in America to launch an online bingo site through their Desert Rose Bingo enterprise a few weeks ago. Then what should have been a historic event and what should have had an important economic impact for the Iipay Nation, turned into a court battle.

The bingo site, which uses Great Luck’s VPNAPS technology and employs proxy play, was banned because it was infringing on US gambling laws, according to California lawmakers and regulators. So California’s Attorney General’s Office has restrained the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel tribe from operating its new enterprise.

In a recent court hearing, federal officials cited 15 infringements of a form of Class III gaming law, accusing the company of practising ‘electronic duplicate of bingo’. In its defense, the real money mobile betting enterprise says it was not in breach of tribal compacts or state law as it uses proxy play software and argued that it was exercising its tribal sovereignty rights to practise Class II gaming.

Judge Anthony Battaglia who presided over the hearing said that the way in which the bingo gambling was carried out constitutes it as a Class III game.This is in violation of the UIGEA laws which state that when ‘the player’s participation is limited to electing the amount to bet and the number of cards to play’ he or she is ‘engaged in the business of betting or wagering”.

The court ordered that the disputing parties come to an agreement for another court hearing within two weeks, to present their arguments. The judge will examine the case and this may result in the charges or the defense being declared null or void. The judge could ‘award a temporary injunction which could herald protracted litigation’.

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