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Opinion: Tribes looking beyond state borders in casino quest

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Opinion
More on: catawba, delaware, kansas, north carolina, off-reservation, oklahoma, south carolina
Attorney discusses efforts by the Catawba Nation and the Delaware Tribe to cross state lines for casinos:
Two tribes recently elevated the stakes by proposing to cross state lines for tribal development, and - in the process - have introduced a whole new chapter to the "reservation shopping" story.

The Delaware Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma virtually forfeited its right to conduct any gaming within its historic territory in the northeastern part of the state due to a bruising legal battle in federal courts with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma that resulted in the Delawares losing their federal recognition. The Tribe was subsequently allowed to reorganize and gain new federal recognition as part of an agreement giving Cherokee a veto over any trust land acquisition and any gaming development within a large portion of the state. With no opportunity to develop gaming and realize the economic self-sufficiency already achieved by its tribal neighbors, Delaware has announced that it intends to relocate its tribal offices to historic Delaware land in Kansas. It remains to be seen whether the Tribe will be able to secure the necessary approvals at the federal and state levels.

The second tribe looking for cross-border casino development is the Catawba Indian Nation of South Carolina. Unable to develop a casino due to prohibitory state laws, Catawba officials recently commenced discussions with North Carolina officials to move their proposed gaming site from York County, South Carolina, across the state border to Cleveland County, North Carolina, adjacent to Interstate 85 and convenient to gamblers in both states. If North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is willing to negotiate a gaming compact with the Catawba and the Interior Secretary renders the necessary determination, the Catawba will have broken new ground in Indian gaming. The existing plans reportedly call for a casino and resort with many amenities and significant financial concessions to North Carolina that could be as high as $100 million annually.

Get the Story:
Dennis J. Whittlesey: "Reservation Shopping" Circa 2013 (Mondaq.com 8/30)
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