The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel tribe has been working on offering online gaming in the state of California for some time now. After vowing to provide online poker within the state’s borders, the tribe launched an online bingo site to get the ball rolling on online gaming. Last Friday, the tribe received bad news in accordance to their iGaming efforts after a temporary restraining order was issued by the US Federal District Judge Anthony Battaglia.
According to a report at Pokerfuse, the tribe was sent the restraining order that stated real money online bingo operations were to be shut down. The tribe launched the online bingo site and used a VPN Aided Play System which would allow players to access online bingo gaming in California on a computer or mobile device. The tribe stated this type of gaming was protected as Class II gaming in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
According to the court, the VPN does not ‘aid’ players but is a tool that is being used as a ‘facsimile’ of the game. The court considers this type of gaming to be filed under Class III gaming and this is not protected by the IGRA and is in violation of state and federal laws.
Santa Ysabel Interactive released a press release on the subject of the restraining order with Cruz Bustamante stating that if the state of California prevails on the ‘important tribal sovereignty issues’ the losers will be the small economically disenfranchised tribes of the state and across the United States. Bustamante stated the tribe remains hopeful that that the case will progress in court and every effort will be made to understand the game as well as the technology used to show the option should be considered Class II games which are legal.
With the issuance of the restraining order, the tribe will not be able to offer online poker gaming any time soon and will have to cease their online bingo operations until some type of resolution is found in the case.
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