Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Santa Ysabel Goes Live With Online Bingo

Santa Ysabel Online Gambling Goes Live in California, But Not With Poker

November 4th, 2014 by Philip Conneller

The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, the go-it-alone tribal gaming operator that has vowed to launch a real-money online poker site whether California legalizes it or not, began offering real money online gaming this week. But it’s not poker, it’s bingo.


The tribe has made clear that it is interested only in poker and bingo.

“House-banked games and slot machines are defined as Class III games, and can only be offered in a tribal casino upon agreement with the state through a Tribal-State Gaming Compact,” it says on its website. “Santa Ysabel has had such a compact with the state since 2005, but has no plans to offer Class III gaming through its interactive website.”

Certainly, the tribe’s efforts to launch online poker in the California may depend on the success, or lack thereof, of the new bingo site and whether it receives legal challenges. And it’s likely that there will be legal challenges. The Iipays believe they have discovered a legal loophole in IGRA that defines bingo and poker as Class II gaming, but that assumes that bingo and poker are the same as online bingo and online poker, in a legal sense.