The Big Federal Gamble
Congress looks at bills on online poker and off-reservation casinos
...According to the department, only five tribes have received authorization for off-reservation gambling since the 1988 enactment of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which established federal regulations for tribal gambling operations.Read Complete Article
Currently, tribes wishing to open a gambling facility in off-reservation lands obtained in trust after 1988 must secure support from Interior, and the governor of the state where the facility would be located. But bills offered this year by sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) would place more restrictions on off-reservation gambling.
The Off-Reservation Land Acquisition Guidance Act, which McCain introduced in July, would codify off-reservation language in a George W. Bush-era memorandum rescinded by the Obama administration. The 2008 directive required American Indian communities to place any off-reservation gambling facility in a location that was within a "commutable distance from the reservation."
In July, McCain praised the jobs that have resulted from Indian casinos. "However, the process of taking land into trust, if left unchecked, can easily be exploited by non-native casino developers," he said...