Real-Money Gambling in California Set to CommencePublished August 22, 2014 by Lee R
Responsible gaming is at the core of the new proactively developed model.
A real money poker site is set to open in California within a week.
Iipay Lead the Charge
According to Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission Chairman Dave Vialpando, real money poker will commence sometime between the 26th and 28th of the month, making real-money game offerings available to all residents of California 18 and older physically residing and present within the borders of the state.
The Iipay Nation tribe of Santa Ysabel announced the intention to offer free-play online last month, indicating a bold move into online gaming space despite the fact that California state has yet to legalize online poker.
Responsible Gaming Priority
The next bill to legalize online gambling is actually set to be reintroduced in the state in December, but Vialpando claims that the Iipay Nation has the authority to offer Class II gaming from its reservation uninhibited by any statute, and in a socially responsible fashion.
“In fact,” explains Vialpando further, “We did form an alliance with the California Council on Problem Gambling and we have just put the finishing touches on what we think is a model responsible gambling program for internet gaming providers. We will be rolling that out shortly. We are moving full speed ahead.”
The boldness of the move stems from the fact that other tribes have been reluctant to try online gaming thus far out of concern that it would have a negative effect on their brick- and-mortar physical casino enterprises, which bring in revenues that Vialpando describes the tribes as “perfectly satisfied with.”
Compliance and Regulation
Vialpando was also quick to point out that compliance is a priority, which is the reason why “...with the regulatory framework and structure. It has taken us more than two years of planning. As the Chairman of the Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission my concern is to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s on the regulatory side. It has been very labor intensive.”
This kind of labor is something that most tribes do not feel is worth their while. Vialpando cautions that the initial roll out will be limited, in a beta testing phase that ensures that the tribe's model works effectively and meets regulatory and performance expectations. After two years, he sees no reason why expansion and duplication by other tribes should have any ceiling.