Carl Artman letter on off-reservation gaming

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Assistant secretary Carl Artman on Thursday issued long-awaited policy on off-reservation gaming.

The six-page guidance letter describes how the Bureau of Indian Affairs will evaluate land-into-trust applications for off-reservation casinos. It states that "greater scrutiny" will be given to the application to determine the impact on a tribe's sovereignty and that "greater weight" will be given to concerns raised by local governments [PDF: Letter].

The Bush administration followed up today with letters to 30 tribes that have pending off-reservation gaming applications. The letters were a collaborative effort between Artman, his principal deputy George Skibine and Jim Cason, the Interior Department's assistant deputy secretary.

One of the letters went to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe of New York. The BIA rejected the tribe's land-into-trust application for a casino more than 300 miles from the reservation.

Copies of all the letters can be found here.

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