Yellow Bird: Artman right on off-reservation gaming

"All bets are off for Indian gaming off-reservation. In a Jan. 3 memo to regional directors of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Office of Indian Gaming, Carl Artman, assistant secretary of the Interior, explained why 11 tribes' proposals for off-reservation casinos were rejected with about 30 more tribal casino applications pending. The Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa's proposal is one of those awaiting review.

Indian gaming, Artman said, “was not intended to encourage the establishment of Indian gaming facilities far from existing reservations” where tribal members have problems getting to and from jobs. As an example, he said, one tribal applicant involves land some 1,400 miles from their reservation. More important is that the local and state governments must support the proposal of a casino in their neighborhood, the memo states.

Basically, I agree with Artman: Casinos should provide economic development for tribes, and the jobs should be easily accessible. First, let me say I am from a Plains state - North Dakota - where gaming isn't a multimillion-dollar enterprise. Off-reservation casinos would be a problem in our state for local tribes.

If one of the four tribes applied for and received permission to put land in trust and establish a casino in, say, Fargo, Grand Forks or Bismarck, that would take away gamblers from the existing casinos and cut into the limited income of local tribes. And the population that the casinos draw from in our state isn't a big well."

Get the Story:
Outlook: Grim for new casino (The Grand Forks Herald 1/9)

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