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Feds Shut Down Oklahoma Online Tribal Casino

Feds Shut Down Oklahoma Online Tribal Casino

There are several organizations seeking to operate tribal online gaming citing various federal and state rulings permitting some kinds of online gaming. Last month, it was revealed that the federal government has been blocking a website operated by an Oklahoma tribe seeking to do just that.

The Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma seek to operate an online casino for international players. The website pokertribes.com has been approved via compact with the state government, but was blocked last month by the Department of the Interior. The tribe has filed suit against the department, citing Sally Jewell, secretary of the Interior, and Kevin Washburn, assistant secretary of Indian Affairs, as defendants.

The tribe believes it has the right to offer online gaming because of the relationship with the state.

“It’s pretty groundbreaking,” said Richard Grellner, an attorney representing the tribe. “In Oklahoma, we have the Native American culture we can sell to the world, and the state and the tribes can really benefit.”

A study conducted for the tribe estimates that it could generate $132 million in revenue in 2018 if it could attract just 2 percent of the world’s online gaming customers.

Under the tribal compact with the state, it would pay the state 4 percent of the first $10 million in annual net revenue from electronic gaming, 5 percent of the next $10 million and 6 percent of any subsequent amount, plus a monthly 10 percent from non-house-banked card games, or games in which the casino or host has no stake in the outcome.

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