Congress steps into off-reservation casino fight

Efforts are growing in Congress to somehow curb or limit off-reservation casinos.

Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, plans to hold hearings on the issue this spring. He warned the National Congress of American Indians recently of the "backlash" against casinos in "areas never contemplated" by federal law.

Rep. Richard Pombo (R-California), chairman of the House Resources Committee, is also taking up the debate. He is circulating a draft of a bill that would limit off-reservation casinos to up to two "Indian Economic Opportunity Zones" per state.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 bars gaming on lands acquired after 1988. But exceptions are allow for newly-recognized tribes, tribes that were terminated and tribes with former reservations, such as those in Oklahoma. Congress can also pass laws to exempt certain tribes from the IGRA requirement.

Get the Story:
Congress may put limits on tribal casinos (The San Francisco Chronicle 3/13)
McCain Steps Onto An Even Playing Field (The New London Day 3/13)
Tribal Leader Fears End Of U.S. Indian Casinos (Reuters 3/14)
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