Online gambling is currently permitted only in Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware as the remaining states have yet to lift the ban on the online poker industry. These state regulations have not prevented the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma from going ahead with the launch of their Pokertribe.com online poker website.
The tribal casino had the U.S. District Court Judge in Oklahoma City rule in its favour as tribal casinos are not governed by state law and hence the tribe received approval to offer online gambling to all residents in the United States except for those in Oklahoma. The tribe has confirmed that it has launched the first phase of its PokerTribe.com casino which will offer free to play games.
The second phase of the roll-out will see the introduction of more online casino games as well as real money games and is likely to take place in the month of August. The tribe has teamed up with the Florida based Universal Entertainment Group (UEG) to avail software and technology services in setting up the website. The servers for Pokertribe.com will be situated on reservation land as required by law.
This is not the first time that an Indian tribe has tried to launch an online poker website. The Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes in Oklahoma also teamed up with UEG and tried to get an online poker license in 2014 but their efforts were overturned by the Federal government. Now that the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has been successful in obtaining a license, it remains to be seen if these two tribes will once again push for an online poker license.
The Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes had paid a combined fee of $9.4 million to UEG for failing to proceed with its partnership. However the Iowa tribe had no reservations in entering into a partnership with UEG as the tribe believed that were the best option available. In a statement, Bobby Walkup, Chairman of the Iowa Tribe said “I see this software to being the key for securing the future for many generations. It is a market that is untouched.”
The tribe has plans of launching in-flight gambling services via its Pokertribe.com website which will be powered by UEG technology. If these two new ventures prove to be successful, the tribe which has around 800 registered members are expected to significantly benefit from the revenue generated by Pokertribe.com