Legal Online Poker to be offered to Indian Casinos Nationwide in the U.S.

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Indian Online PokerNews sure to shake up the online gaming industry, Atlantis Internet Group Corp. (ATIG) announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with Cake Gaming NV to allow patrons in tribal casinos in more than 30 states to play poker online, legally.
 
Backed by the legal opinion of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) for its patent pending “Casino Gateway Network” (CGN), ATIG is poised to establish a private gaming network on Indian Lands. This technology will allow tribal casinos to offer Internet poker across state lines and will be called the “Tribal Gaming Network”.
 
By some counts, there is $30 billion in Internet gaming revenues generated worldwide now, without the U.S. market. Analysts are quick to point out that before the U.S. Congress passed the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), two-thirds of the worldwide Internet gaming revenue came from the U.S. That means billions of Internet gaming revenue dollars within the U.S. market now remain untapped. While the UIGEA put an end to Internet gambling in the U.S., it provided certain exceptions for Indian Casinos and Intertribal Internet gaming and states that pass Intrastate Internet gaming legislation. This online poker network should not have too much trouble operating since each state can determine its gambling laws, and Indian lands also have the ability to determine what is legal and what is not on their lands.

ATIG will now be the only poker network operating in more than one state at a time. This also allows tribes to aide their respective communities which have been hard hit by the sagging economy. “Our Indian version of the CGN, called the ‘Tribal Gaming Network’ (‘TGN’) offers an immediate and legal solution to Indian casinos nationwide, providing the largest online poker network in the U.S. This is a significant milestone for ATIG and Cake, and will become an immediate economical shot in the arm for Tribes and states facing deficits nationwide,” said Donald L. Bailey, CEO of ATIG.

There is a growing movement in the U.S. and Europe to relax the rules on Internet gambling so that taxes on online gaming might bolster revenue and reduce budget shortfalls. Last month the Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives approved a Bill that would overturn the 2006 UIGEA law. Supporters say online gaming could yield as much as $42 billion in U.S. tax revenue over 10 years. ATIG’s CGN System is designed for traditional commercial casinos as well and can be easily implemented when, and if, pending state Intrastate Internet Gaming legislation is passed.

ATIG introduced its technology to the NIGC, the federal agency that co-regulates all Indian Casinos, and in September 2009 received a favourable opinion allowing it to operate its network in all Indian Casinos nationwide. The TGN System allows players to play on a private gaming network, i.e., “Wide Area Progressive” (WAP), Class III, Class II and online games on Indian lands. The NIGC Opinion went on to state that according to its Bulletin on the UIGEA, ATIG’s network works like a traditional WAP and, therefore, it is not considered as being illegal Internet Gaming.

The specific framework for this poker network has not been published, but it’s a giant step towards some a legalized form of poker within U.S. borders.

We will be following closely and reporting on the progress of these initiatives.

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