- Associated Press - Monday, May 22, 2017

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A gambling website created by the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma that was originally planned to launch in 2016 is seeing more setbacks because of a federal investigation.

The venture is backed by Universal Entertainment Group for $10 million, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/2qczFzN ) reported.

But Universal is being investigated by the National Indian Gaming Commission for a failed deal with the Concho-based Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. The tribes paid Universal $9.5 million to develop a gambling website in 2012 that never launched.

“A lot of money was paid and nothing was ever received,” said Reggie Wassana, speaker of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribal legislature. “Nothing became of it. It was $9.4 million for a website basically - there was no realization of profits and no actual working internet gaming.”

The commission said it can’t comment on potential or ongoing investigations.

“The NIGC does not comment on any potential or ongoing legal investigations but has the authority to make referrals to other federal, state or tribal authorities when potential criminal activity occurs, we are unable to comment whether this action has taken place,” the agency said in a statement.

A 2014 FBI investigation found no wrong doing.

“They (the FBI) went through all of our financials dollar by dollar,” said Fred Khalilian, a consultant for Universal Entertainment Group. “We did nothing wrong.”

David McCullough, an attorney for the Iowa Tribe, said the tribe is optimistic its site, Pokertribe.com, will eventually launch.

“The site will launch once we secure the license,” McCullough said. “It has been a long process and an interesting process, because it just hasn’t been done before, so everything is new.”

McCullough said the Iowa Tribe doesn’t expect the latest investigation to affect its website.


Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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