Tribes Want a Piece of the Online Gambling Market

Tribes Want a Piece of the Online Gambling MarketWhether state by state legalization of online gambling would create a large enough pool of players to be lucrative has been a cioncern od online gaming companies exploring the US market. Federal legislation has been proposed but the federal law would only permit poker and other forms of gambling like online bingo would remain illegal. Native American tribes may have found the answer to the dilemma and are talking about pooling their resources and working together to offer online poker and other games across a network run by the tribes.

During President Reagan’as administration Native American Tribes took their first foray into the casino and gaming industry after Reagan signed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988. Since then income from tribal casinos has skyrocketed and by 2011 there were 240 tribes operating 460 casinos that generated about $27 billion annually. Gaming operations enabled many tribes to rise from poverty and the tribes use the money generated by gambling for a variety of social services for tribal members.

The tribes are well positioned to take advantage of the American online gaming market. It has been estimated that the US online gambling market could be worth about $7.4 billion in poker, casino and online bingo gross winnings within the next five years. Last year the Northern Bear Casino became the first real money online casino in the United States. The Northern Bear Casino CEO announced  “I’ll be operating under the same inherent, treaty, constitutional and sovereign rights as when I opened the first Indian casino in Canada on February 26, 1993. Our forefathers traded globally 100-plus years ago and entrepreneurship has been in our DNA for 10,000-plus years. This is what November 6, 2012, is going to stand for.”

Whether state by state legalization of online gambling would create a large enough pool of players to be lucrative has been a concern of online gaming companies exploring the US market. Federal legislation has been proposed but the federal law would only permit poker and other forms of gambling like online bingo would remain illegal. Native American tribes may have found the answer to the dilemma and are talking about pooling their resources and working together to offer online poker and other games across a network run by the tribes.

During President Reagan’s administration Native American Tribes took their first foray into the casino and gaming industry after Reagan signed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988. Since then income from tribal casinos has skyrocketed and by 2011 there were 240 tribes operating 460 casinos that generated about $27 billion annually. Gaming operations enabled many tribes to rise from poverty and the tribes use the money generated by gambling for a variety of social services for tribal members.

The tribes are well positioned to take advantage of the American online gaming market. It has been estimated that the US online gambling market could be worth about $7.4 billion in poker, casino and online bingo gross winnings within the next five years. Last year the Northern Bear Casino became the first real money online casino in the United States. The Northern Bear Casino CEO announced “I’ll be operating under the same inherent, treaty, constitutional and sovereign rights as when I opened the first Indian casino in Canada on February 26, 1993. Our forefathers traded globally 100-plus years ago and entrepreneurship has been in our DNA for 10,000-plus years. This is what November 6, 2012, is going to stand for.”

After Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware legalized online gambling it forced Native American tribes with gaming operations to examine their options. Commenting on the potential alliance of tribes to create their own online gambling network the executive director of public affairs for the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, Jacob Coin stated “We’re starting to see more force behind the idea of developing Internet coalitions. It’s a positive development in that it means tribes are finally beginning to embrace the technology.”

After Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware legalized online gambling it forced Native American tribes with gaming operations to examine their options. Commenting on the potential alliance of tribes to create their own online gambling network the executive director of public affairs for the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians, Jacob Coin, stated “We’re starting to see more force behind the idea of developing Internet coalitions. It’s a positive development in that it means tribes are finally beginning to embrace the technology.”

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