Online Poker Site Launched by Iowa Tribe

Iowa Tribe of OKFollowing the okay by a US District Court to allow the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma to go ahead with a new online poker project, the new site was launched last week. The free-to-play site will work from servers which are placed on tribal land.

The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has said that this is the first step in its long-term plan to offer real-money poker to players who are based outside the borders of the United States, using software provided by Universal Entertainment Group. There are plans to launch real money online poker to players who are vacationing on cruise ships or are on international flights, with a launch date of January 9, 2017.

The Iowa Tribe published a press release in the middle of last week, explaining that the second phrase would introduce more games and real-money online poker play for international markets with a launch date of August 1st.

“The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma made history when they became the first tribe to receive State and Federal approval in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma for certification of an award entered by an arbitrator,” read the press release. “The award stated that use of the internet to offer certain “covered games” under the Class III Gaming Compact between the Iowa Tribe and the State of Oklahoma is not in violation of previous and present state or federal law.”

This is the first time that a tribe has managed to reach a stage where it has state and federal backing to launch such an ambitious online poker project.  When the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes attempted to launch a project such as this, also backed by Universal Entertainment Group, in 2014, they did not succeed do to federal government intervention.

In the same year, the Californian Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel pushed for a similar project but had to back down after the state government filed an objection.

The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma – an 800-member tribe – runs two terrestrial casinos in the state, namely the Ioway Casino Resort in Chandler and the Cimarron Casino in Perkins.

Tribal gaming revenue is a huge business in the United States, with California bringing in $7.3 billion of that revenue as the country’s largest tribal gambling market.  Oklahoma is another big tribal market, which, together with California, formed 40% of the total gaming revenues at tribal gaming facilities in 2014.

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