It is NOT online gambling it is online marketing!
Regulators have not yet come to a decision regarding the recently launched website. Academic, Prof I Nelson Rose however sides with tribe, “if you cannot lose, it is not online gambling”. The website offers free play on its casino games, any credits gained at the online casino may be redeemed at the land casino.
The tribe claims that it wants to attract players from online gambling sites to its land casino. But a gambling watchdog group has said that the games are not properly licensed and has called for an investigation. The ‘play away’ concept was first used by Foxwoods.
Casino Pauma, which is also owned by the Pauma tribe, provides work for tribal members and creates revenue for the tribal government. According to an agreement signed between the tribe and the state, the tribe may not offer gambling outside of their territory. The California attorney general’s office is looking at the website to determine whether the agreement has been contravened.
It is interesting to note though that in a similar case in 2006, the National Indian Gaming Commission declared that since no money changes hands, it does not constitute online gambling. An expansion which will cost in the region of $300 million is planned for the Pauma tribe’s land casino and the online games are being used to build a customer base for the land casino.
Should online gambling laws in the state be changed, the tribe has the necessary infrastructure to run an online gambling site for real money.