Establishing these off-reservation casinos has absolutely nothing to do with the preservation of Indian culture. It is about money, pure and simple. Twenty years ago, before IGRA, there were no tribal casinos in this country. Now there are more than 400, and tribal gambling is currently a $19 billion a year business.
That is why I have introduced HR 2562, the Limitation of Tribal Gambling to Existing Tribal Lands Act of 2007, which would preclude new casino development on lands that are taken into trust as part of a settlement of a land claim. That bill was inspired by the efforts of a tribe located more than 900 miles from Pennsylvania to force home- and business owners in my District off their properties just so yet another tribal casino could be built.
IGRA was designed so that Indian tribes could be self-sustaining, not so that business interests could create gambling empires. It’s time to protect property rights and rein in this abuse.