How can it be legal
for Santa Ysabel to offer online gaming when no state law currently exists for such activity?
Tribes are considered sovereign nations in the United States and inter-tribal gaming employing
the Internet has been legal for several years. Class II gaming, such as poker, have been exclusively regulated
by tribes in California since 1999. Absent a specific state prohibition on this type of gambling activity,
which does not currently exist in California, tribes are free to engage in this activity as long as the activity is regulated
by the tribe as described in the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Santa Ysabel’s online gambling,
as designed, is in compliance with both state and federal law.
If this activity
is legal, why haven’t other tribes in California entered the online gaming market?
Several tribes in California have entered the online gaming market or are very close to doing so, employing
a similar legal construct as Santa Ysabel’s enterprise. Larger gaming tribes are generating sufficient
revenue through their land-based casinos and do not feel it is necessary from a business perspective to enter the online gaming
market at this time. Rather than invest the time and energy required to create a reliable and comprehensive
regulatory structure necessary to conduct adequate oversight of online gaming, as Santa Ysabel has done, many tribes have
decided to leave this task to state gaming agencies through the legislative process.
Santa Ysabel Interactive’s I-gaming website vulnerable to corruption by criminals and organized criminal groups?
Like any enterprise conducted over the Internet, from Internet-based shopping networks to online
banking, there are those seeking to take advantage of the business, as well as the consumers patronizing the business.
Recognizing this as a modern reality, the Santa Ysabel Gaming Commission has worked alongside online gaming platform
designers, payment processors, and other technology experts to minimize system vulnerability and build in business and consumer
safeguards which are consistent with industry standards in highly regulated, successful online gaming enterprises around the
Similar to the Gaming Commission’s commitment in the tribe’s land-based
casino, the emphasis is on maximum integrity and transparency regarding game play, barriers to infiltration by nefarious persons
and criminal groups, and unwavering protection of the consumer. Gaming Commission staff members constantly
monitor all facets of the Interactive gaming enterprise, from the patron registration process, to play of the games, to payment
processing and distribution of winnings, in order to prevent or detect potential abuse as early as possible. Unlike
in a land-based casino, nearly every facet of Interactive gaming is electronically archived and available for subsequent review
for dispute resolution, to identify potential system vulnerabilities, and to verify regulatory compliance.
Does Santa Ysabel support state Internet gaming legislation?
are currently two pending legislative proposals being considered by the California Legislature. Santa Ysabel
and other California tribes have significant concerns regarding both legislative proposals. The current
proposed legislation excludes all but the wealthiest gaming tribes from engaging in state-regulated online gaming.
Smaller or remotely located tribes, like Santa Ysabel, would not be able to meet the financial prerequisites for participation
in online gaming as currently proposed, in spite of their years of experience conducting and regulating brick-and-mortar Class
II and Class III gaming.
Many tribes feel that the current
proposed legislation gives the state too much regulatory authority over tribal online gaming, an authority which historically
has been the sole purview of tribal gaming regulators due to the Class II status of the games involved. The
proposed legislation discounts and marginalizes years of successful and experienced regulation of tribal gaming in California
in favor of relatively inexperienced state gaming regulators. Santa Ysabel and other tribes believe that
effective Internet-based gaming regulation would result from an equal and respectful partnership between state regulators
and tribal gaming regulators.
Tribes have a long history of being marginalized
and discounted by government agencies. Tribal gaming has enabled some tribes to assert their rightful place
in U.S. society and provided economic opportunity and the right to self-determination which generations of government repression
have denied Native Americans.
Santa Ysabel hopes to positively influence any
proposed state I-gaming legislation from its experience with Santa Ysabel Interactive and the months of planning dedicated
to establishing a solid operational and regulatory structure.
Does Santa Ysabel
Interactive plan on offering online slot machines or Class III gaming?
The tribe feels that to offer Class III gaming over the Internet would be a clear violation of Santa Ysabel’s
Tribal-State Gaming Compact with the State, and potentially a violation of state criminal statutes. When
and if state law changes to provide for regulated Class III gaming via the Internet, Santa Ysabel Interactive will evaluate
the potential business advantage of such an endeavor.
What are Santa
Ysabel’s plans for the projected revenues earned from its interactive gaming enterprise?
The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, whose membership has suffered with high unemployment
and a lack of economic opportunity, as well as marginalization and the decades of government repression suffered by Native
American Tribes across the United States, is looking forward to applying the revenues generated from Santa Ysabel Interactive
to further the economic goals of the Nation, increase the standard of living for the Nation’s members, invest in tribal
infrastructure improvements, and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
infrastructure investments include community resources, services, and education opportunities for youth, re-investment in
Tribal business opportunities which offer job training and careers for Tribal membership, community support and assistance
to empower and engage families and community members in need.