The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, which won the right to operate online gaming site PokerTribe.com earlier this year has said that it is delaying the launch of real money games by a couple of months. The tribe working with Universal Entertainment Group (UEG) as its software partner had intended to open real money games from August 1 to residents of Oklahoma and international players.
Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey are the only three states in United States where online poker is legal. However the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma ruled that the tribe could offer online poker since it fell within the purview of the Class III Gaming Compact signed between the State of Oklahoma and the Iowa Tribe, thus making it legal with Federal and State law.
The tribe said that the reason for the delay was due to ongoing negotiations with multiple foreign governments and payment partners. It is expecting a delay of two and a half months.
In a statement to the press, Bobby Walkup, Chairman of the Iowa Tribe said
We have completed each phase thoroughly and precisely. The final phase is the most important for a successful launch with the real money play, which is why we are rescheduling our launch date.
The tribe is working with several countries to ensure that it remains within prescribed gaming regulations. It is also partnering with several major financial companies including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, as well as large European companies for payment processing.
The tribe has said that it expects all negotiations regarding gaming regulations across geographies to be closed within the next two months.The launch date of real money games on the site is now fixed for October 15. Pokertribe.com continues to offer free casino games such as Poker, Pull-Tabs and Bingo. According to the Iowas, several new games would be introduced when real money operations are launched. It is also encouraging sign-ups by players by offering mega bonuses.
If launched, this would be first U.S. site offering online poker to international markets and would be setting the precedent for other tribes to follow. The Iowa’s currently operate three land-based casinos in the state. Additionally, the tribe is also planning to offer online poker services to commercial flight passengers through its InSkyCasino venture. This service was slated to go live by January 2017 but reports indicate that this too could be further delayed.