California Attorney General Seeks Injunction Against lipay Nation
The slow expansion of online gambling in the U.S. is resulting in some creative initiatives by interested parties to circumvent the legal prohibitions on gambling. One such body is that of the lipay Nation of Santa Ysabel Native American Tribe. They teamed up with DesertRoseBingo.com in order to offer real money gambling in California. The only problem is that legally they are only permitted to offer online gambling to gambler’s located in the tribe’s lands.
This has resulted in California Attorney General Kamala Harris seeking an injunction that will block the tribe’s online gambling operations. She claims that the DesertRoseBingo.com website is violating federal and state law. The tribe on the other hand is relying in their sovereign rights it had to offer Calls II games by the Indian Regulatory Act of 1988. They claim that online gambling may not be regulated by California law but fall under their tribal government regulations.
The main issue brought up in the courts is the fact that the tribe’s online bingo operation enables gamblers who are not physically located on tribal lands to gamble online. In court documents filed by the state it was claimed that “The Tribe is reaching out to Californians irrespective of whether they are on its Indian lands. IGRA does not allow this. The UIGEA does not allow this. The Compact does not allow this. This action seeks appropriate injunctive relief to prevent unlawful internet gambling. Therefore, this court should issue orders temporarily restraining, and permanently enjoining, the tribe’s offering and conducting Internet gambling in breach of the compact and in violation of state and federal law.”
The outcome of the court proceedings will be interesting as it could set a precedent for other Native Indian tribes who are also looking to find legal loopholes in the law that will enable them to offer real money gambling in states like California that have yet regulate igaming.