Desert Rose Bingo, the online domain operated by the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel tribe, has been ruled as an illegal gambling site by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
The court cited an issue of first impression, regarding an intersection of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
“The UIGEA does not prohibit otherwise legal gambling,” said Jeffrey Edelstein, partner at law firm Manatt Phelps and Phillips, “but it established a system where a ‘bet or wager’ must be legal both where it is ‘initiated’ and where it is ‘received.’”
Though Iipay argued that gambling activity occurred solely through servers located on tribal land, the court countered that the actual act of betting itself occurred elsewhere.
“At least some of the ‘gaming activity’ associated with DRB does not occur on Indian lands and is thus not subject to Iipay’s jurisdiction under IGRA,” said a statement from the court.