End Of The Road For Online Casinos In California?
Added: Jan. 9, 2017
What with all of the post election drama along with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you might have missed the news story that came out about the state of California. You may well recall that the topic of legal online casino action in California has been a back and forth affair for the past few years.
At the same time, you may remember that the proactive Tribe of lipay Nation of Santa Ysabel took matters into its own hands and launched their own online bingo site that was made available to all California residents over the age of 18. Citing their implicit authority to take such a position, the Tribe based their claim on the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).
In fact the Tribe made this statement: “…in offering online gaming through Santa Ysabel Interactive, the Tribe is exerting its sovereign right under the IGRA to regulate and conduct Class II gaming from the tribe’s reservation”. Take note of the fact that Class II gaming includes such games as poker and bingo but does not include other casino games such as online slot machine games or House banked games such as BlackJack. Seems reasonable and logical on the surface don’t you agree?
Not so fast. At least not according to a federal judge from the Southern District of California. Get this: Judge Anthony Battaglia issued a ruling that has left quite a few industry observers shocked and stunned. In his ruling, Battaglia made it clear thjat the lipay Nation of Santa Ysable, the Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission, Santa Ysabel Interactive as well as others clearly violated the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006. In addition, Battaglia took it one step further by making the temporary injunction against them permanent.
What does all of that mean? In no uncertain terms, Judge Battaglia has clearly spelled out the terms of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Battaglia ruled that without question, the parties cited above are not permitted to offer so-called Internet gambling to people who are not in fact located within the borders of the Tribal land.
Wow! And thus a two year saga comes to a close. From one perspective, you can appreciate the proactive position assumed by tribal leaders to offer online casino gaming choices. On the other hand, the Battaglia ruling leaves the question of California and legal online casino action still unresolved. Unless and until action is taken at the federal level, it would seem as if hopes for legal online gambling sites for Californians if off the table for now.