Electronic poker tables, where players bet against one another and not the house, like regular live casino poker, is at issue in the current debate between state of Wisconsin officials and members of the Ho-Chunk Indian tribe.
The Ho-Chunk Indian tribe is locked in a fight with officials of the state of Wisconsin over their ability to offer legal electronic poker tables at Dejope Gaming, the tribe's Madison, WI bingo hall.
Wisconsin state regulators say that poker games fall under the same heading as casino games like slot machines and blackjack which are currently prohibited in the state. The Ho-Chunk tribespeople say the particular electronic poker games in question should be classified differently because players are placing wagers against one another, as in real multiplayer poker, and not the house, as in standard casino poker.
Both the Ho-Chunk's and the state of Wisconsin have agreed to keep the argument out of the courts and settle it in binding arbitration.
In February of 2004, voters in Madison county turned down a referendum to expand gambling at Dejope Gaming to include casino type games.
Dejope currently has 1,100 electronic bingo machines and only 8 electronic poker tables, which are sequestered off in a different room.
The determination will come down to whether electronic poker tables count as Class II or Class III games. If they are determined to be Class III games, like other casino games, then they will be constituted as illegal and the tribe will be forced to take them down.