- Proposed online casino for the Cheyenne and Arapho Tribes faces delay
- Deal agreed between tribes and UEG has yet to yield a full casino website
A proposed online gambling site from the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has seen yet another delay. Originally set to launch in 2016, the site’s debut has been pushed back even further now due to a reported federal investigation.
Allegedly, Florida-based Universal Entertainment Group (UEG) fronted $10 million to help bring the site to fruition.
However, the National Indian Gaming Commission is currently looking into a deal that Universal made with the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Oklahoma, promising to develop a gambling website for them to the tune of $9.4 million – which never got off the ground.
It has been noted that while UEG did in fact launch a website – PokerTribes.com – the site went no further than its bare bones, with no working internet gambling being offered to players.
“A lot of money was paid and nothing was ever received,” says Reggie Wassana, of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal legislature. “Nothing became of it. It was $9.4 million for a website basically — there was no realization of profits and no actual working internet gaming.”
This isn’t the first time that the project has been under official scrutiny. However, in 2014 an FBI investigation found that Universal had done nothing wrong and that there was no evidence to support wrongdoing.
Will the site ever launch?
David McCullough, an Iowa Tribe attorney, states that the most significant delays are due to the fact that real-money online tribal gambling is still quite new. Claiming that the Universal investigation is only a slight hiccup, he says the real issue seems to be navigating the specific hurdles facing the launch of a regulated online casino.
“The site will launch once we secure the license,” says McCullough. “It has been a long process and an interesting process, because it just hasn’t been done before, so everything is new.”
Whether the Iowa Tribe online gambling site will launch still remains to be seen. Until then, players across the state will have to wait some time before they can finally access online casino games from a regulated operator.
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