United States Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) have introduced a new bill that could further restrict Native American tribes’ ability to establish off-reservation casinos.
legislation, entitled “The Tribal Gaming Eligibility Act,” would amend the
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and require tribes seeking to open a casino
on non-reservation holdings acquired since 1988 to have both a modern and
aboriginal connection to the land. The criteria for this connection includes a
25 mile proximity to an existing reservation currently occupied by tribal
members, a routine tribal presence on the proposed casino site since 1988, an
application moving the land into trust status filed with the Interior
Department within five years of tribal recognition, and that the tribe not already
operate a gaming facility elsewhere.
that can’t meet these criteria will have to go through a two-part determination
before a casino can be built, in which the Interior Secretary and state
governor must approve the plan as being in the best interest of the tribe and
not detrimental to the local community.
is the second time over the past year that Sen. Feinstein has proposed a bill
seeking to tighten the rules regarding the placement of non-tribal land into
trust status for the purposes of opening a casino, which is sometimes called “reservation
shopping,” according to Indian Country
Today. The previous bill had died in last year’s session of Congress.
Feinstein’s district includes the San Francisco area, where tribes are seeking
approval for non-reservation gaming facilities. Recently, a plan by the Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians to build a $1 billion off-reservation casino
in the San Francisco area city of Richmond was rejected by the community’s City
Council. The Scotts Valley Band of Pomo Indians also seeks to develop a casino
resort in Richmond.
number of Arizona gaming tribes are also pursuing off-reservation casino development
Senators seek to restrict off-reservation tribal casino development
April 11, 2011