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Tribal Online Poker in California From the Iipay Nation

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California residents will soon be able to play real-money online poker at a brand new site launched by the Iipay Nation.

It looks like US poker enthusiast will soon be able to enjoy a fully legal online poker site in the United States. According to the renowned online blogger Marco Valerio, who has been supplying both accurate and early information pretty often, a former tribal land-based casino operator is preparing to enter online gambling scene.

The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel is looking to get a license from the Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission for their real-money American poker room. The same regulator was governing the land-based operation of the San Diego tribe, which according to the latest reports went under sometime this year.

Legal framework

A brand new tribal online poker site is about to be launched in California

•The Iipay Nation prepares to launch an American poker room in California
•Member-to-member money transfers will be allowed
•Inter-state playing possibilities are unclear

The legal status of online poker under American gambling laws is still unclear on a larger scale. While some states already allow such activities to happen in their jurisdiction, there’s still no word on a federal framework.

Online poker is now legal and actually being enjoyed in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. Nevada is also researching a possibility of entering several interstate compacts with neighboring states allowing residents of both to participate in legal online poker activities.

According to news, the latest development with the Iipay Nation could also become an interstate affair. It looks like the Kahnawake Gaming Commission will be involved in licensing allowing for an inter-jurisdictional agreement with the Santa Ysabel Interactive, the operator behind the tribal online enterprise.

The Iipay Nation are also known proponents of legalizing online poker in California. However, the Nation will be invoking the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and tribal sovereignty for their brand new online venture.

The online poker room will have a physical base on the reservation and will be running on IG Soft software, which was previously known as Dobrosoft.

Target audience

The site will be accepting Californian residents who are 18 or order. However, the wording on the poker site is sometimes contradictory and leaves a lot of room for interpretation when it comes to whether residents of other approved jurisdictions will be allowed to play. Depositing of funds is, however, restricted to California residents, which creates a lot of confusion even before the site is actually operational.

The legal wording on the new online poker site is also excluding most US states and some European countries which chose to opt for national online gambling regulation and licensing regime.

Californian online poker

The state of California is currently debating two separate regulatory bills on poker. Both of them are already at committee stage in the state’s legislature. There are reports about a third bill being in the works, a tribally influenced proposal, but there’s still no official confirmation on that.

It looks like if any of these online poker bills are to succeed they need to through the legislature before the end of August 2014. Because this is the absolute deadline for state legislative actions for anything to be launched this year.

Interestingly enough, should bills fail to receive approval from the state Senate and House before the above-mentioned deadline, they will be scrapped and proponents will have to start over by introducing them again during the next legislative session.

The Iipay Nation’s spokesman, Dave Vialpando, was quoted saying: “The Tribe supports the effort by the Legislature to enact interactive gambling legislation in the State, but has decided to rely on the tribal sovereignty and the provisions of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to offer I-poker from the Tribe’s reservation.”

He went on to add: “Santa Ysabel Interactive currently has no plans to offer Internet-based slot machines or banked-games through its website, but will consider offering other gaming consistent with IGRA.”

The interesting aspect of the new online poker site is the way Californian players will be depositing money to play. The deposits will come through the Financial Payment Network (or FinPay) and options will include electronic checks, credit cards, Bitcoins, and even personal deposits in tribal smoke shops.

Another interesting thing about the site, and this time a totally unique feature across US online poker scene, is the possibility of member-to-member transfers. But there will be some restrictions on that including earning a certain status first before any player can send money to their fellow poker enthusiasts.

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