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Free Online Gambling Website Sparks legal Controversy

Significant controversy has been sparked between professional and anti-gambling personalities, following the release of an online gambling website by the San Diego Pauma Band of Mission Indians tribe. Powered by GameLogic, the site features free play at video slot machines, table and card games.

According to the Pauma tribe, the free online gambling website is a form of marketing for its land-based casino in North County, California. The marketing strategy employed by offering free play allows players to win credits via the online gambling site which can later be used for real money gambling at the casino. The strategy also works in a reverse manner, whereby the casino offers its players special cards that can be used as points at the online gambling site.

Yet state regulators are still unsure as to whether or not the site is legal, claiming that an online gambling watchdog body has reported the games offered to be improperly licensed. In opposition, online gambling expert Professor I. Nelson Rose says that as long as one cannot lose money at the site, it cannot be considered online gambling.

The spokeswoman for GameLogic has stated that the games are entirely legal and have even been approved already by several states. The National Indian Gaming Commission supports this side of the argument, agreeing with Professor Rose that they cannot be considered online gambling if there is no loss of money involved.

The North Country Times has reported that so far, sate lawyers remain unaware of the tribe’s online gambling site. Yet following the recent debate over the issue, they can be expected to now check into the matter.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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