New Student Scholarship on Tribal Internet Gaming

The Jurimetrics Journal at ASU Law has published “A New Formula for Tribal Internet Gaming” by Racheal White Hawk. [pdf]

The abstract:

Tribal gaming is an industry that generates more than $27 billion a year. It comprises forty percent of all gaming in the United States, and has provided more than 628,000 jobs for Native and local communities. While tribal brick-and-mortar casinos contribute numerous economic, cultural, and social benefits to Native communities, Internet gaming profits are a potential boon. Internet gaming is well positioned for rapid growth because tens of millions of Americans use computers, cell phones, and tablets for shopping, games, and entertainment. Furthermore, with the advent of increasingly accurate geolocation technology, filtering, and blocking systems, the age and location of gamblers can be monitored, thus facilitating legal Internet gaming within state borders. Moreover, the potential for tax and licensing revenue from Internet gaming is immense, and states may enter into revenue-sharing agreements with tribes while offering exclusivity for tribal operators. For instance, in California, tribes contributed $467 million to state revenue in 2012 from brick and mortar casinos. States such as Delaware and New Jersey have legalized intrastate Internet gaming to reap tax revenue. California, however, has not yet legalized intrastate Internet gaming. Rather than wait for states to legalize intrastate Internet gaming, some tribes are launching their own online poker and bingo rooms to accept bets from players not located on Indian lands, asserting that doing so is legal under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). However, some states disagree that it is legal under IGRA. To prevent impending expensive and time-consuming litigation and to support tribal economic development, Congress should reform the current regulatory patchwork of federal Internet gaming legislation by legalizing interstate Internet gaming, allowing states to opt out of the federal interstate Internet gaming scheme, and adding a new category specifically for Internet gaming to IGRA.