PokerTribes is owned by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, the united tribe of the Southern Cheyenne and Southern Arapaho people of western Oklahoma. The Tribes operate four land-based casinos: the Lucky Star Casinos in Clinton and Concho and the Feather Warrior Casinos in Watonga and Canton. In accordance with an agreement with Oklahoma, PokerTribes.com will give 20 percent of its revenues to the state.
The software package for PokerTribes is being developed by Universal Entertainment Group (UEG). There is really not much to be said about UEG’s product, as it is not in use anywhere yet. If all goes to plan, PokerTribes will be the first online poker room to launch using the UEG platform this summer. UEG also has its own poker site in development, UEGPoker.com, slated for fall of 2013.
Based on what the PokerTribes.com website says, it appears that the poker client will be available on multiple platforms, including PC download, web browser, and iPad (iOS app). The UEG website also lists Android as another option.
As PokerTribes has not launched yet, there is no traffic of which to speak. Though it is located in the United States, Oklahoma’s gaming compact does not permit online gaming sites to accept U.S. players. Because of tribal sovereignty, however, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes are exempt from the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) so PokerTribes.com can accept international customers. Thus, it will be trying to draw traffic away from the likes of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and PartyPoker.
It is not known at this time if PokerTribes and UEGPoker will join up on a network since they will be running the same software
Security and Ethics
As the owners of PokerTribes.com also own four brick-and-mortar casinos in Oklahoma, one might assume that management has a solid understanding of gaming ethics. At the very least, we can see that its land-based casino websites do have responsible gambling information readily available. As far as security is concerned, its software provider, Universal Entertainment Group, is a relative known, so it remains to be seen how strong the site’s security will be.
We have not had the opportunity to test PokerTribes’s customer support as the site is not yet live.
There is no banking information for PokerTribes at this time.
Normally, we would look forward to an online poker room associated with four brick-and-mortar casinos hosting promotions that offer the chance to win prize packages for one of their properties. But since PokerTribes.com will not be open to poker players in the United States, we see it as unlikely that stays at a Feather Warrior casino will be prominently featured. While there is much entertainment to be had at the tribal casinos in Oklahoma, they are probably not the destinations of choice for people across the ocean. They may surprise us, however, and put together some really nice prize packages for their customers.
We would expect, at the very least, a generous deposit bonus and a well-crafted loyalty program upon launch.
PokerTribes is an interesting case. It is based in the United States, but it will not be open to United States customers. It is hard to say anything one way or another about it right now since it has yet to launch and will be operating on a totally new software client. It is exciting, though, to see the first international online poker room launched by American Indian tribes.
- Name: PokerTribes
- Established: 2012
- Country: United States (sovereign tribal land)
- Network: Independent
- Owner: Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
- Positives: First American Indian-operated online poker room, a break from the norm.
- Negatives: Yet to launch; new software developer with no track record.