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California Online Poker Site Gets Legal “Blessing”, Could Create Modern Day Internet Gold Rush

August 1, 2014
California

Just a couple of weeks ago we announced the news here that a real money online poker site was operating in California. That is substantial news for several reasons. First off, California has yet to legalize online poker like Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware have. Those three states took advantage of the 2011 reversal by the Department of Justice which passes the buck to individual states concerning over what is and what is not considered legal online gambling. Since there is no legislative package which gives a blessing for legal real money online poker and other forms of gambling in the Golden State, how can the Private Table virtual poker room run by the Iipay tribe of Santa Ysabel Indians be legal? For the answer, a prominent California attorney speaks up.

California Attorney Joins Multiple Industry Officials In Declaring Private Table Site Legal

Running a poker room exclusive to California residents and visitors, the Iipay Indian tribe’s PrivateTable.com website launched officially a little over a week ago. With arguments on both sides of the legislative aisle praising and lambasting the actions of the relatively small California tribal group, attorney Martin Owens suggests that the tribe and its website have done nothing to run afoul of state and federal Indian tribal gaming laws. His opinion is joined by several industry analysts and leading gambling authorities that have given the website’s operation their scrutiny. Owens and others believe that the online poker room opening is a strong step forward in the efforts of delivering Californian non-tribal poker websites run by the state as well.

Is California Tribal Online Gambling Infighting Squashed With The Private Table Launch?

Ever since December of 2011, when the Department of Justice made it possible for US states to regulate their own online gambling industries, California has been a name which keeps popping up. The rich physical card room history in that state led many to believe California lawmakers would move quickly to pass poker room-friendly legislation. But the Indian tribes which operate brick-and-mortar casinos in California have always stymied any efforts by non Indian-backed poker legislation. Their concerns were and continue to be that cannibalization would take much needed revenue from their land-based casinos. That is what makes this Indian effort to regulate legal, real money online poker in the state such a big step. If other tribes do not stop arguing and start launching their own operations, they may get left behind.

Noted Gaming Attorney – “California Online Poker Room Launch Is Legal”

Attorney Owens released a statement declaring, “If an Indian tribe has land of its own and wants to offer Class 2 gambling, they don’t have to consult state law at all.” He highlighted that after thoroughly reviewing the gambling laws concerning state recognized California Indian tribes, he saw nothing from stopping any tribal group in the state from offering virtual online poker services to all California residents. This is a significant shift for the Internet gambling industry in America as a whole, and obviously for California specifically. When federal lawmakers see multiple Indian tribes delivering a virtual poker presence which is legal and accepted, it won’t be long before state-run Internet poker parlors start popping up all over the place. California boasts the world’s 8th largest economy, so some serious money is at stake.

Class 2 And Class 3 Gambling Licenses Make Santa Ysabel Poker Room Viable

Currently in California, a Class 2 license for gambling recognizes that native tribes owning their own land should be free to offer basic gambling services. This includes poker and some casino table games and slots, as long as the operations are run on that Indian land in California. Also, the Santa Ysabel nation holds a valid Class 3 license for gambling. That delivers the right to run banked gaming services. On the surface, this appears to allow for legal Internet poker offered and run by California’s recognized Indian tribes. With 110 unique and identifiable Native American tribes and 90 businesses in California relying on the gambling industry for their revenue, what was a nonexistent legal online poker market in the Golden State only weeks ago could transform into a modern-day virtual gold rush for tribal Indian groups.

We have a complete section dedicated to California online gambling which will keep state residents in the know for everything related to CA.