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Iipay Nation Ask Court to Dismiss Calif iBingo Case

The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel filed a Motion to Dismiss versus the California Attorney General in the legal skirmish over the right to offer online bingo to California residents.

Such a motion is standard procedure in civil litigation after the plaintiff files a Complaint. The Iipay tribe promised to continue fighting after the state initiated the legal proceedings, so their recent filing seeking dismissal comes as no surprise.

A judge sided with the state last month in granting a temporary restraining order that put an end – at least for now – to the tribe’s Desert Rose Bingo endeavor. That online bingo site launched in advance of what the Iipay Nation are really after, and that is to roll out online poker via their website.

Private Table is open to Golden State residents for play-money, with a real-money launch repeatedly promised by Santa Ysabel throughout much of 2014. That launch has yet to take place, but the website has undergone a number of modifications in preparation of doing so, including naming a promotion for first-time real-money depositors.

Sovereignty Argued

Santa Ysabel’s motion argues that the tribe has a sovereign right to offer online bingo pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). That Act was effectuated before the Internet was used for wagering. As is the case in many legal matters in general, judges have to make rulings based on statutes that are somewhat antiquated.

Seemingly the bottom line in the entire issue is Iipay’s desire to be included in any online poker legislation that may become enacted in California. As many are aware, however, ipoker bills proposed in the state for the last several years have not gained any momentum.

In the meantime, the small Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel have taken on a role akin to that of “The Little Engine That Could,” the children’s tale that teaches optimism against all odds. The tribe are seemingly fighting an uphill battle, but continue with their mantra of “I think I can, I think I can” with regard to offering online bingo and poker before a law to that effect is passed.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.