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Joe Valandra: Internet gaming legislation compromises tribes

Filed Under: Legislation | Opinion
More on: 113th, house, igra, internet, joe valandra, senate

Joe Valandra. Photo from Great Luck LLC

Joe Valandra, a former chief of staff at the National Indian Gaming Commission, says Restoration of America's Wire Act turns back the block on tribal gaming:
As the Internet continues to fuel innovation for American consumers, Tribal governments are rightly pursuing all online opportunities as instruments for economic growth.

When Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988 Federal laws governing gaming on Tribal lands did not exist. The IGRA, for the first time, set the legislative basis for regulating Indian gaming nationally. The law encouraged economic development on Tribal lands and established gaming as a means of generating revenue for Tribes. Now, nearly 30 years later Congressional leaders appear more determined than ever to turn the clock back decades and dramatically obstruct the rights and economic vitality of federally recognized Indian tribes.

That’s exactly what legislation recently introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Rep.Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) – S.2159 and H.R. 4301, respectively – aims to do. By prohibiting online gaming nationally, the legislation could severely compromise Tribal jurisdiction over Class II games like bingo and make any expansion of gaming by Tribes to include the Internet illegal. With many Indian reservations continuing to have some of the highest rates of poverty, unemployment, school dropout, and other social distresses of any communities in the country, this legislation forces Native Americans to accept the status quo.

Get the Story:
Joe Valandra: Internet gaming – lawful or not? (The Hill 5/9)

Another Opinion:
Lawson Bader: Republicans Graham, Chaffetz place the wrong bet on internet gambling (Human Events 5/10)

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