Monday December 15,2014 : CALIFORNIA A.G. SUCCESSFUL IN OBTAINING T.R.O. ON TRIBAL GAMBLING GROUP (Update)
Parties ordered to meet before Christmas.
The Attorney General's Office for the state of California has been successful in its application to a US District Court for a temporary restraining order on the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel Indians, which last month made headlines by launching its real money online bingo Desert Rose enterprise, claiming it was not in breach of tribal compacts or state law
Judge Anthony Battaglia granted the order, supporting the state's contention that tribal sovereignty rights for Class II gambling do not apply to Desert Rose, as the manner in which the bingo gambling is conducted make it a Class III game, and therefore subject to formal tribal-state compact negotiation.
Judge Battaglia pointed out in his judgement that the scope of Class III gaming is wide, and specifically decrees that tribes may not offer Class III games "…through use of the Internet unless others in the state are permitted to do so under state and federal law.”
The Judge found that "…the internet gaming provided here is Class III," and commented that the presentation of the game at the court hearing had clearly supported the state contention that the player’s participation is limited to electing the amount to bet and the number of cards to play.
The state and the tribe are now ordered to meet within the next two weeks to agree to a hearing to show cause, a way for disputing parties to present to a judge detailed reasons why a court should order relief to one or the other. Such orders can include dismissing all or part of an action, or an award of a temporary injunction by the judge, which could herald protracted litigation.
For now, the tribe is restrained from operating its new enterprise.