The Off-Reservation Internet Gaming Debate: International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) Discussion (03.09.2013)


The Off-Reservation Internet Gaming Debate: International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) Discussion (03.09.2013) [re-purposed extract from IMGL LinkedIn legal discussion]


Some believe that from a US Constitutional perspective, Tribal sovereignty perspective, as well as a State and Federal regulatory perspective, that US Tribes have a right to do Class II internet gaming right now -- i.e., without any changes in current applicable laws. See, e.g., "United We Stand" article by Dave Palermo with some espousing this point of view at Others say and opine that is not the case.

There is no legal consensus amongst gaming lawyers on the complex issue of the legality of off-reservation wagers -- particularly with respect to certain betting activity, or skill-gaming such as non-house banked peer-to-peer poker as played in virtual online cardrooms on remote servers in well-regulated jurisdictions -- Tribal or otherwise. In fact, some such as this author do not necessarily agree that the activity is even "off reservation" for certain gaming / player activity.

This IMGL legal discussion excerpt scratches more than the surface -- but only begins to address the emerging robust debate over this key gaming law issue impacting Indian Country today, and in particular, with respect to the viable legal ability of Tribes to successfully engage in online betting, wagering, or skill gaming as the case may be under all applicable State, Federal, and US Tribal law, and whether or not the activity involved is truly "off -reservation" as contemplated herein.

Regardless of where one finds oneself on this legal discussion, it is sure to be hotly-debated in the weeks, months, and years ahead as iPoker and iGaming become more prevalent regulated activity in US States that authorize or otherwise enable the same on a jurisdiction by jurisdiction bases.



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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ian Imrich, Law Offices of Ian J. Imrich, APC | Attorney Advertising

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