Thursday November 20,2014 : CALIFORNIA A.G. ACTS AGAINST TRIBAL ONLINE BINGO OPERATION
AG's office seeks a federal court restraining order on the Desert Rose Bingo activities of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel.
The San Diego-based Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel’s recently launched real-money Desert Rose online bingo enterprise may be brought up short soon following an application by California Attorney General Kamala Harris for a federal court restraining order.
The AG is also seeking a permanent injunction against the tribe's internet bingo operation, which it launched in partnership with gaming company Great Luck.
The operation violates both state and federal law, the AG claims in court papers which cite the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It also is in breach of the compact the tribe has had with the state of California for the past 11 years.
In a probe of the online operation, enforcement agents claim that they were able to deposit and play from outside the tribal lands, and it seems that the tribe has not bothered with geo-location or age verification technology.
In summarising its claims that the enterprise is operating illegally, the AG points out that neither the UIGEA nor the IGRA permits tribes to seek the business of Californians located outside the tribal lands, and to do so is additionally in contravention of the tribe's compact with the state.
The state claims that warnings, ultimatums and attempts to set up a dialogue have been rejected, leaving little alternative but litigation.
The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel has a colourful history when it comes to gambling; it operated a tribal land casino branded Santa Ysabel Resort and Casino until 2012, when it filed for bankruptcy, subsequently closing the doors earlier this year.
It was involved in another online venture, this time for poker, with its off-again-on-again Private Table.com business, which a few months ago appeared to be about to go from free-play to real-money action but was delayed and has thus far failed to materialise
The tribe is likely to oppose the AG's applications, triggering another round of complicated US litigation centred on internet gambling.
The AG's application will be heard before Judge Anthony J. Battaglia on December 4.