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Dec
15th

Tribal Gaming and Internet Bingo

At the present time only three states offer legal online gambling; Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. That may change next year as several states plan to take up the issue in their legislatures. Most states plan to focus on poker and traditional casino games. So where does all this leave internet bingo players? There is a good possibility that most legal internet bingo inb the United States will be offered by Native American tribes.

In several states Indian tribes have extensive brick and mortar gaming operations. The Seminole tribe in Florida was the first tribe to offer gambling and operated a massive bingo hall. The Seminoles won a landmark Supreme Court Decision that paved the way for other tribes to set up gaming operations in several states. In some states tribal casinos have caused some controversy. In Alabama the attorney general wants to shut down all tribal casinos calling them a “nuisance.” Fortunately tribal lands are considered sovereign nations and are beyond the jurisdiction of state officials.

According to one report tribes in several states planning on entering the American internet gaming market. In California the Alturas Indian Rancheria Tribe is prepared to offer internet bingo by the end of the year. At an event in Las Vegas last September the tribe revealed a beta version of an internet bingo site. The site is up and running but is in ‘free play’ mode. Once a deal is finalized the tribe plans to offer real money gaming. Some gaming experts believe that the tribes will be the most likely source of internet bingo because of their extensive experience with the game.

In Oklahoma the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes plan to launch a gaming site that will target players outside of the United States. The tribes have already reached an agreement with Oklahoma that will allow them to provide real money gambling to offshore players. Some tribes have mixed feelings about internet gambling. Some fear that online gaming could lure players away from their land based casinos. The casinos have provided thousands of jobs on reservations and have raised the overall standard of living on several reservations and the tribes do not want to lose the money generated by tribal gambling. Experts say that internet gambling is her to stay and that the federal government should step in and regulate the industry.