Opinion: Exceptions the rule in Indian gaming

"Not all off-reservation tribal casino proposals are the same under federal law. Indeed, California has been overwhelmed with a variety of 'legal exceptions' to the general federal rule that land acquired after Oct. 17, 1988 cannot be used for gaming unless both the Secretary of Interior and the governor concur that it is appropriate.

The numerous tribal gaming proposals in the Bay Area provide a good example of the unique differences and exceptions occurring due to a lack of a focused federal Indian policy.

First, there is the clear exception to the federal 'no gaming on new lands rule' that occurs when Congress passes new legislation permitting gaming on select parcels of land.

Second, there are proposals claiming that the land under the proposed casino is 'restored land,' which permits new land to be used for gaming without the governor's concurrence.

Understanding these fundamental differences, 'mandatory vs. discretionary,' will help citizens understand why there are at least two different approaches in addressing off-reservation tribal gaming."

Get the Story:
Cheryl Schmit: Indian gambling confusion (The Oakland Tribune 3/13)
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