Summary: Years in the making, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has finally been able to launch their online poker room, Grey Snow Poker.
The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is the operating group behind four land-based gaming venues in the state of Oklahoma. The group has been working for some time to offer online gaming and just this week, announced the launch of their Grey Snow Poker online poker gaming site. The site may be up and running but players located in the US cannot take part legally. When the site was created, stipulations were put in place to prohibit individuals from accessing the site illegally for real money gameplay.
Isle of Man Licensing
Grey Snow Poker has received their licensing from the Isle of Man, with international players accepted. Based on the terms and conditions, the online poker site states that their servers are located on sovereign land and are regulated by their own Gaming Commission. The site is licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
Based on local regulations, gaming servers are permitted to be located on sovereign land, which allows for remote operations. In the Isle of Man, the tribe is the first to apply for a gaming license as well as the first to be approved.
Legal Grounds Verified
Before the tribe began their online gaming site venture, they worked to ensure that they had legal grounds to offer such services. The group first consulted with Judge Chapel, an arbitrator appointed by the state, who decided that online poker was not prohibited based on federal or state laws.
The tribe then headed to a local United States District Court to gain federal certification. The approval given says that the tribe can offer covered games based on their Class III gaming compact with the state of Oklahoma and they would not be violating any laws by offering online options.
This process took quite a long time and along the way, the tribe would set several launch dates only to change them due to having to complete varying steps in the process. Once they were finally launched, Bobby Walkup, the chairman of the group stated:
We are thrilled to have launched a great new poker site that focuses on fairness. It’s time for a new type of poker room to come along, made by poker lovers, and recognizing what’s best for poker.
The new online poker room is a bit different from other sites as they do not charge a rake for cash games. For the most part, online poker rooms will take a percentage from each pot. At the Grey Snow Poker site, only 3% is taken as a flat free from the players when they decide to leave the table. The site also has a low tournament fee which is a nice change of pace from traditional online poker gaming options.
Because the site does not have a rake on cash games, many expect it to have problems. Other sites that have tried a rake-free approach, have shut down. For the Grey Snow Poker site, the operator feels that they will shake up the industry by creating a better playing experience. According to George McIntosh, the Grey Snow Poker managing director, stated that the rake free approach known as FairPlay service fee, as well as the automatic table seating will make the experience more user-friendly for recreational players.
We shall see in the coming weeks just how appealing the site is to players and if the brand will be able to pull in traffic due to offering services for international players only.