Indian Tribes Could Be Next to Legalize Online Gambling

20 December 2013

Despite the fact that Native American tribes do not currently offer online gambling, it is only a matter of time before we will be able to see gaming suppliers creating online casinos run by operators from these tribes. The Native American land-based gambling industry is doing quite well at the moment, with no less than 460 gaming parlors and casinos in 28 American states. But when it comes to online gambling, it is not clear yet how many online gaming sites operated by Indian tribes will be open in the near future.

Gaming stats released by the American Gaming Association showed that even though only Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey legalized online gambling, American residents still gamble $4 billion each year. This is quite a significant figure, taking into consideration that individuals around the world spend $30 billion per year on online gaming. American Indian tribes are aware of the fact that even though they might not succeed in offering online gambling solutions to their residents, they could target gamblers who do not reside in the United States. Up to now, the first tribe to most probably open an online gambling site will be the Alturas Indian Rancheria Tribe, located in California. The tribe has already teamed up with a company of gaming suppliers that developed remote technology for the purpose of catering to gaming enthusiasts from all over the country. The operator already started an online gambling site that offers free-play games.

 Gaming suppliers are expected to start an internet gaming site run by this tribe by the end of the year. Several other Native American tribes, such as the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes based in Oklahoma are also making efforts to offer online gambling games to individuals outside the United States. Many Indian tribes see the expansion of online gambling as a way to improve the economic situation in their areas, gaming businesses representing an opportunity to decrease poverty and unemployment. Fortunately for some of these tribes, American states will create compacts with them that will allow Indian online gambling. Oklahoma has not yet passed a legislation to regulate online casinos, but an agreement reached between the state and the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes will supposedly allow the Indian tribes to offer gaming services to individuals outside the United States. Not so long ago, Republican Governor Mary Fallin requested the tribes to suspend an online gaming site that offered online poker to residents of the state, but she offered them the possibility to launch another gaming site that will target non-American individuals. When the online casinos are up-and-running, the tribes will have to pay to the state of Oklahoma 10 percent of their revenue generated from card games and 6 percent on other games like lottery or bingo.

The partnerships between American states and Native American tribes will be the first step towards the expansion of the Indian gaming industry. Tribal casinos would help Native American tribes improve their economic situation, create jobs and increase revenue. Many gaming suppliers will certainly be interested to partner with Indian tribes in order to develop online gaming sites.

20 December 2013

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