Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Delays Real-Money Launch

In a move not too terribly surprising to anyone who’s familiar with the back story, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma has pushed back its previously announced launch date for offering real-money online poker at the site.  News of the delay came via a press release of sorts offered yesterday via PRNewswire.  The majority of that release, including the comical title, is appended at the bottom of this update.

Iowas-of-Oklahoma-emblemThis latest development in this shaggy-dog poker story is, to this onlooker, wholly expected., the second iteration of a concept through which the site’s developer, UEG [Universal Entertainment Group], has sought an Oklahoma tribal partner to partner with in order to offer US-based tribal gaming to customers outside the US.

The larger problem, left unsaid in the PR fluff from the Iowas and UEG, is that the perceived market for is imaginary.  All the would-be players outside the US already have access to the games the site plans to offer, via large international gambling sites.  In other words, all those non-US customers have no reason to patronize the site.

Worse, the antiquated graphical appearance of what was originally offered won’t convince any casual visitors, largely from Canada and Europe (which seem to be the target audiences), that this is a site that can build a big following and offer a decent selection of games.  The site has gone something of a cosmetic overhaul, but its supposed functionality has not been tested publicly.

The Iowas are the second Oklahoma-based tribe to partner with UEG on this concept.  Original UEG partner the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma bailed on the partnership, which was slated for activation via a nearly-identical offering.  The Cheyenne and Arapahos bailed on the deal after sinking an estimated $9 million into UEG’s plans, some of which likely went to the legal fight that confirmed the tribes’ rights to offer such a product, and the fractured ending exposed a lot of questionable details about the past of at least one of software provider UEG’s primary execs.

Yet while all of that stuff continues to raise important questions about UEG’s and’s legitimacy, it’s only part of the point. Perhaps the largest flaw is this: Having the right to offer a product doesn’t equate to finding ready customers who’ll patronize the offering and prefer it to other products, and that latter point is’s glaring Achilles heel.

Nonetheless, the Iowas and UEG had to say something, hence the offering of the latest release.  August 1st was the initial live date for the real-money product, but there’s been no indication that has been able to attract any sort of healthy numbers to its play-money product.  And that’s not at all surprising, given the hundreds of far more stylish play-money sites and apps already available to consumers.

The supposed launch date for PokerTribe’s other proposed project — that of offering real-money poker action on airplanes, mid-flight, and on cruise ships in international waters, has also been pushed back a touch, though that’s not mentioned in the latest presser.

It’s not always fun to be a naysayer, but this one’s a big loser.  This cynical writer expects more announcements of launch delays, followed by a cynical parting of the ways in the supposed partnership.  The harsh prediction still stands: will never offer a significant real-money online poker product.

Anyhow, the latest presser, or the largest part thereof:

The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma Has Made Tremendous Amount of Progress to Launch Phase 2 of Its “Real Money Play Online Casino” Worldwide and is Launching an All-New Interface Today!

PERKINS, Okla., Aug. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is rescheduling the launch date of its international real money play poker site as they continue to coordinate with foreign governments on the worldwide launch of

With the successful launch of their international free play online casino website,, the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma and its exclusive Online Casino software developer, Universal Entertainment Group “UEG,” are working to finalize the international country by country gaming licensees and international merchant processing banking. Banking partners will include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and more, plus our European banking partners.

Iowa Tribal Chairman Bobby Walkup states that the tribe is pleased with the progress made towards launching the site to a worldwide audience. The Iowa Tribe plans to work with every country and their head of States to build a new type of government relationship between the Government of the Iowa Tribe and international governments with their respective committees.

The Iowa Tribe made history when they were able to satisfy Oklahoma’s State Government with the online poker concept/platform through the assistance of the State-appointed arbitrator Judge Chapel and the eventual federal certification in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The award stated that use of the Internet to offer certain “covered games” under the Class iii Gaming Compact between the Iowa Tribe and the State of Oklahoma is not in violation of previous and present State or Federal law.

“We have completed each phase thoroughly and precisely. The final phase is the most important for a successful launch with the real money play, which is why we are rescheduling our launch date,” said The Iowa Tribe’s Chairman Bobby Walkup.

The all-new free play site is available to United States residents (excluding Oklahoma) and international markets, featuring Poker, Bingo, and Pull-Tabs.

The next phase will introduce more games and real money play for international markets.

The opportunity for the online gaming platform and marketing strategy was presented to the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma by the online gaming software developers, Universal Entertainment Group, (“UEG”). The next phase of the platform will also allow for the online casino to be available on international flights and cruises. …


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