Santa Ysabel Tribe Launches Online Poker Site

The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel is running PrivateTable from its reservation located in North County

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    The Santa Ysabel Tribe has announced it will break into the online gaming business by launching its own poker website. NBC 7's Bridget Naso reports on July 15, 2014. (Published Tuesday, July 15, 2014)

    Just days after a multi-national online poker agreement was reached among several California tribes, a San Diego County tribe has announced it will launch a pay online poker site for California adults.

    The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel is running PrivateTable from its reservation located in North County.

    Once they register on the site, California residents over the age of 18 will be able to play a variety of poker games.

    The website offered free poker games at first with the pay portion of the site expected to go live soon after.

    Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), federal law states that tribes can operate class II games legally on their property, including poker.

    But whether state officials see the new business venture that way is up for debate.

    There are two bills pending in the state legislature to address the issue.

    Santa Ysabel Commission Chair David Vialpando told NBC 7 research suggests interactive on-line gambling is regulated the same way and provides the same benefit - revenue for the tribe.

    “Tribes have the exclusive regulatory authority with regard to the conduct of class two games and poker is a class two game,” said Vialpando. “No different than the regulatory structure and rules that we've abided by and have been in place in brick and mortar casinos since 1999 in California.

    The Santa Ysabel tribe used to operate a brick and mortar casino, but told NBC 7 Tuesday that they closed it to operate a more profitable venture to help people in the tribe.

    As for security, Vialpando said online gaming would be easier to monitor than gaming in a casino.