Oklahoma Online Poker Law
Oklahoma is the first state in the nation to allow its Indian casinos to get into the global online poker market.
In April 2013, the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes negotiated a compact with Oklahoma officials that give them permission to operate an online poker room in exchange for 20 percent of its revenue. The site is PokerTribes.com.
There’s one huge catch for online poker players based in Oklahoma: As per the compact, PokerTribes.com can only do business with people located outside of the United States.
This compact will surely affect the way tribes and lawmakers in other states think about online poker moving forward.
The compact came about after the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes launched free-to-play PokerTribes.com. State officials protested and put enough pressure on the tribes to take the site offline. The state claimed that even though no real money was being exchanged, it violated portions of the gambling compact between the parties.
This brought the two sides together, and the new compact was forged.
The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association has given notice that its members will join the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in entering online poker’s global market. Oklahoma and its tribes want a piece of the multi-billion dollar pie.
“The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association looks forward to assisting our member tribes as they are joining a rapidly changing and developing international gaming industry. This is the next step in generating much needed revenue for Oklahoma tribes and the state of Oklahoma,” said OIGA Chairman Brian Foster.
Visit PokerTribes.com and find a holding page that promised the real-money site would launch in the summer. The site will be run by the digital solution company, Universal Entertainment Group (UEG). This is its first foray into online poker. The tribes and UEG also plan on launching BingoTribes.
When Will I Get to Play Online Poker in Oklahoma?
Once other tribes join the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes and sign online poker compacts with the state, and more and more sites go live, watch for Oklahoma officials to consider again amending the compacts to allow its online poker residents access to the proven sites.
Governor Mary Fallin has shown a willingness to work with the tribes. The tribes definitely would love access to Oklahoma’s online poker players — as well as the rest of the country’s — so watch for more renegotiations once other states start allowing its residents access to online poker sites. Let’s be optimistic and say Oklahoma will allow its residents access to the sites in their home state by 2015.
During that time, expect the compact to be changed to allow its casinos to enter online poker compacts with states, such as Hawaii. Once this happens, it feels inevitable that, one day, most states will allow its residents access to online poker sites. This story is only going to get more complicated and interesting.
Online poker fans must keep their eyes glued on Oklahoma.