This week, a play money online poker room was launched by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma. The tribe’s ambition is that this poker room will become the only operator running inside the United States with an international market.
Currently, the platform features pull-tabs, bingo and poker and offers free-play for US residents and an international pool. However it is unknown when the real-money offering will go live on the site pokertribe.com.
Last September, the tribe applied for the state’s Gaming Compliance Unit and the state called in an arbiter to help them decide if the proposal would violate the tribe’s deal with the state.
According to the arbiter chosen, a retired Criminal Court of Appeal judge, the proposal “does not amend the compact in any way”. The retired judge said: “the use of internet is merely using technology to play covered [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][ Class II] games as a way to increase tribal revenues”.
In April, Judge David L. Russel gave the tribe the state approval, since according to him there were “no genuine issues of material fact that preclude summary judgment in the tribe’s favor”.
The Iowas are on firmer ground by pursuing players outside the US, but the international market is struggling and even establish operators are having a hard time coping with the decline of traffic worldwide.
In addition, operators have to cope with increased taxation and regulation as well, in Europe for example site have to pay an expensive license and also point-of-consumption tax.
The tribe is fighting an uphill battle with little to differentiate itself from the pack, but we wish them good luck.