Saturday, March 7, 2015

PALA Interactive Gaming: A Failure to Launch? And NJ A Failure in Vetting?

The Website has the story of Pala's failure to launch their new online poker site. A bit nervous that POKERSTARS is coming into the market?  
Despite being ready to launch, the online poker site to be launched in New Jersey by Pala Interactive has been postponed. The company decided to wait for the launch as PokerStars is expected to enter the New Jersey online poker market very soon.
Back in November, the company launched an online casino gaming product in partnership with the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa of Atlantic City.  Pala is delaying the launch as PokerStars is expected to enter the marketplace. Pala was not expecting to take the largest share of the online poker market but with PokerStars in the mix, the potential for liquidity could be quite low. Ryan spoke out about how they have seen liquidity as a challenge, especially considering one network for online poker has already left the market, Ultimate Poker.
The CEO feels as though their online casino gaming product will be fine but poker tends to be more of a challenge, especially if you consider the site would launch at the same time as PokerStars. PokerStars was expected to be launched by now but the approval to launch has not taken place by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak has stated in the past that Christie put a stop to PokerStars entering the online poker industry of the state, though Christie denies these allegations.
Pala disenrolled 162 members
Pala Disenrolls families
Pala disenrollments led to hardship


Reinstatement_Restitution said...

For those looking for news about the Pala disenrollments, the three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on the appeal of the decision to dismiss the complaint against the Pala EC for overstepping their authority and disenrolling legitimate tribal members.

The Southern California District Court ruled that the Pala EC is immune to prosecution and dismissed the original complaint. The appellants seeks to overturn this decision and pursue damages and obtain declarative and injunctive relief.

The attorney for the Plaintiff's, who consist of disenrolled members of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, stated that there were many questions asked, and the judges said there were constraints against intercession in internal tribal affairs. At the same time the judges also recognized the lack of recourse for the Plaintiffs and showed concern for the harm they have endured as a result of the disenrollments.

Here is my take on it. The AS-IA has stated that Congress sets the policy, and the Courts enforce it. Congress has no policy on disenrollment. The BIA waits to be compelled by the Courts to action. The Courts won't intercede in tribal affairs since they honor tribal sovereignty.

It is a maze of obstacles placed in front of disenrollees that is difficult to navigate. So let's get realistic about things. The policy comes from Congress, and starts with the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. We need to get them to issue a policy statement and find out what it is that they are willing to do for us.

It is a risky move. They might decide that their policy is to remain neutral and to ignore the abuse of the rights of Indian citizens. Maybe they would be willing to establish a policy that preserves our eligibility for benefits. This way they don't infringe on the rights of sovereign nations, but disenrolled Indians can still qualify for federal benefits.

It is a foot in the door that might be opened wider in time, and also would be a recognition of the problem of disenrollment. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Disenrolled Indians don't qualify for federal benefits because they are no longer a federally recognized tribal member. Ask any disenrolled Indian tanif or Indian legal aid.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

That is the point of having a policy statement from the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs that enables disenrolled Indians to qualify for federal benefits. The idea that a person stops being an Indian because some corrupt tribal leaders wants to steal (or deprive them of) their benefits needs to be challenged. If a person has an Indian blood degree that makes them eligible for tribal membership, but are denied membership because the tribe of their enrollment is opposed to them belonging for political, financial, or racial reasons, then they should still be eligible for federal benefits.

Anonymous said...

that's where the truth is heading. The greedy want the disenrolled to go away and accept being pushed around. Our Ancestors where being pushed around by greedy land, property settlers and agencies who believed our Ancestors would just go away. The federal Government finally settled these issues with reservations and Indian rights. ALL Indians should be recognized not just the greedy band members who think they can dishonor our Ancestors and heirs of ALL members who are Federally recognized. Keep broadcasting the truth, the bad actors need to face it.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. In another article it stated that Pala online casino believes they will do fine, but the poker part is on there a gaming site for slots by Pala online?

Anonymous said...

So what was the decision of the ninth circuit court of appeals?

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Try There you will see the link for online gaming, but you can only play in New Jersey at this time.

Robert Smith took $73 Million of tribal funds and invested in an online gaming venture and assigned majority ownership to himself. He handed out Board of Directors seats to the other members of the Pala EC, and added the brother of Vice-Chairman Howard Maxcy to the Board. He gave lucrative positions in Executive Management at Pala Interactive to Bill Bembenek, the General Manager of Pala Casino Resort and Spa, and to CFO Shauna Anton. Guess he wanted some pals in house to make sure he gets his cut.

Pala Interactive is also home to CEO Jim Ryan formerly the head man at Ultimate Bet and where a cheating scandal was uncovered which led to him resigning from his post to avoid prosecution (at least that is my suspicion and he did resign, there was a cheating scandal, and he was not prosecuted, 2+2=4).

The people of Pala didn't bat an eye when they were told Robert Smith used tribal funds without General Council approval after he denied it for two years. He bought the company for himself, and put his friends on the Board so they can make some money on the side.

There is no revenue sharing coming to tribal members out of Pala Interactive. Robert Smith will report it as a loss and keep the money for himself. This is how he always handles the tribe's investments.

CEO Jim Ryan says he doesn't want to go live with because of liquidity issues. That means the company is worthless, and they don't want to lose more than they are already losing trying to get the company up and running.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians is putting up all the cash for salaries, operations, website development, software development, licensing, legal fees, and whatever bribes are necessary to get the New Jersey DGE and others to let an outsider like Pala compete with the big players in online gaming. Of course Pala Interactive had to partner with the Borgata Hotel and Casino in order to operate in New Jersey, and who knows how much that deal cost?

Anyway the price tag keeps going up, Chairman Robert Smith tells the tribe that they are suffering a severe economic crisis, the Pala Casino is undergoing a $5 Million upgrade, they built an online gaming call center in the basement of the casino hotel building, and the Pala EC voted themselves raises again this year.

No raises for tribal members, but at least they can rest easy knowing that the Chairman's offshore bank accounts are growing almost as fat as his waistline while he gorges himself on the casino revenue.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

The decision on our appeal should be issued in 3-6 months. It will take some time for the judges to consider the arguments. At least it isn't like the decision on the Motion for Summary Judgment that went before Judge Cynthia Bashant. It seems like her decision was written before she even heard arguments. It came out the day after the arguments were heard, and that is very swift justice for a federal court judge.

Anonymous said...

And still tribal members back the EC? I just read they are building a wine cave. Does the clientele going to Pala look like the wine cave type? They already complain that a beer cost $3.50. You think they are looking for a wine cave with expensive wines? It must be being built for Robert and his cronies. How can a whole tribe b so blind to the raping of the bank accounts?

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

Pala tribal members only know what Robert Smith tells them. They have no source of trustworthy information. They think he only spent $37 million on Pala Interactive. They think he did it as an investment for the tribe.

The casino improvements will probably be a good thing for Robert Smith. He takes all the cash, so if people spend some money on wine he will benefit. You are most likely right though that there is not a high percentage of wine connoisseurs in the Pala Casino gaming crowd. Does Robert Smith drink wine? I know he likes his booze and drugs, but I never saw him drink wine.

Anonymous said...

The tribe memebers dont ask for a audit of the books? That's not a chief...that's a dictator. Wake up people or you deserve what you are getting.

Reinstatement_Restitution said...

It might seem like a simple thing to request an audit of the books, but the Pala EC is in control of the General Council Meeting Agenda and would never allow such a request to be brought before the General Council.

If a member tried to make a motion to discuss an audit he or she would be yelled down and later on Robert Smith would retaliate. There might be masked men doling out a severe beating, or a threat to disenroll that person or a perhaps a vulnerable relative. There could be a banishment or eviction order or a threat to stop per-capita payments.

Robert Smith is a dictator, but this has already been revealed and the tribal members are unwilling or unable to stop him. A big problem has been that since the disenrollment of 164 members, just as many or more have been enrolled who are Smith supporters. This means that he has control of the General Council and can garner enough votes to swing just about any action on which he allows the members to vote.

Most stuff he just does on his own authority and no one challenges him so he gets away with it. Let's not leave out his evil cohort Theresa Nieto. She is just as culpable as he is. Anyway we have revealed the truth about the crime and corruption at Pala and it continues on. The FBI was investigating, but no indictments or charges have been made.

If the people want change they are going to have to rise up in force. In the meantime they will have to live by the dictator's whims.