indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Indian Law Online Master Degree - University of Tulsa College of Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Gaming clouds already lengthy land-into-trust process
Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Bush administration has made 15 favorable land-into-trust for gaming decisions since 2001 but opposition is delaying the process by years, a senior Bureau of Indian Affairs official said this week.

George Skibine, the acting deputy secretary for economic development and policy, said rumors of a moratorium on land-into-trust decisions are unfounded. But he acknowledged that lengthy challenges to the process make it appear that nothing is happening at the Interior Department.

In reality, Skibine said the Bureau of Indian Affairs has agreed to 15 gaming-related land acquisitions. Most of the decisions are for tribes that were newly recognized or had their federal recognition restored after being terminated. Two involved off-reservation gaming proposals.

Yet every single decision has been challenged in court, Skibine added. Although the federal government, so far, has won every single case, he said the litigation poses a real problem.

"It takes a lot of time to win those lawsuits," Skibine said during a panel at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He said the two off-reservation casinos never became reality because the state governor, under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, vetoed them.

But even non-gaming acquisitions face delays, said Deron Marquez, the outspoken chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California. The tribe operates a successful casino but isn't seeking land for gaming purposes.

"It's taken almost eight years to get land into trust for housing," Marquez said at the panel. Land-into-trust requests for legitimate social, education and other needs "all of a sudden become clouded" due to gaming, he observed.

Skibine and Marquez linked the opposition to growing concern over off-reservation gaming. Skibine said he has nine pending applications for gaming on "far flung" lands that might be hundreds of miles away from an existing reservation.

Marquez and his tribe have been leading Indian Country criticism against the practice. He said it threatens to destroy everything tribes have worked for since the passage of IGRA in 1988.

"The quickest way to end Indian gaming today is reservation shopping," he said, referring to the term used to describe proposals to obtain land away from existing reservations, sometimes in other states.

John Tahsuda, the majority deputy staff director for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, offered a Congressional perspective on the debate. He said "steam" is building up among some lawmakers to curtail, or stop, off-reservation gaming.

"At some point, something's going to happen to let some of this [steam] out," he told attendees.

Tahsuda said he wasn't speaking for his boss, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), but McCain, who chairs the committee, has questioned the practice. "If we have enough off-reservation casinos set up in America we're going to see a backlash against Indian gaming, because that was not the intent of the law," McCain said at a hearing this summer.

Tahsuda outlined efforts to address the situation and warned that they could dramatically alter the way the land-into-trust process works.

Litigation has already forced the BIA to make changes, as the agency now requires tribes to prepare an environmental impact statement for their land acquisitions. Previously, a less-strict environmental assessment was used but court challenges in Michigan prompted the government to make the new requirement.

Related Stories:
Trust land challenge rejected by appeals court (9/15)
NIGC develops system to track Indian lands (07/28)
Bush officials worried about off-reservation gaming (05/20)
BIA official confirms tribes skipping IGRA process (05/19)
Perception and realities in land-into-trust debate (05/19)
Senate panel urged to move with caution on gaming (04/28)
Experts debate legality of revenue-sharing compacts (04/18)
Gaming summit ends with promise but little else (03/31)
Professor downplays impact of off-reservation gaming (3/30)
McCain takes on controversial topics in 109th Congress (03/07)
States asking too much of tribes, leaders say (02/16)
Off-reservation casinos spur action in California (01/28)
California tribes face divisions on key issues (01/27)
Diverse views aired at Indian gaming discussion (11/19)
Column: Big Tim Pawlenty now the Big Indian Fighter (11/01)
Minnesota tribes blast GOP's gaming ads (10/29)
Minnesota governor wants $350M from tribes (10/22)
BIA caught in debate over off-reservation gaming (07/14)
House committee hearing tackles tough topic (7/13)
BIA official promises policy on off-reservation gaming (06/30)
Court upholds off-reservation gaming provision in IGRA (04/30)
IGRA amendments mired in debate over revenues (04/13)
Senate panel debates changes to Indian gaming act (03/25)
Tribal leaders share views on threats to sovereignty (01/20)
Calif. tribes confront 'dangers' facing gaming (01/15)
Campbell cites pressure facing Indian gaming industry (08/05)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
National campaign launched to stop tribal disenrollment epidemic (2/9)
President Obama seeks $2.9B budget for Bureau of Indian Affairs (2/9)
Office of Special Trustee budget request remains steady at $140M (2/9)
Bureau of Reclamation emphasizes tribal water rights settlements (2/9)
Lakota Country Times: Indian health at center of Medicaid debate (2/9)
Mark Trahant: Native candidates fall behind in the big money wars (2/9)
Vi Waln: Arrogance keeps Keystone XL plans alive in South Dakota (2/9)
Charles Kader: Haudenosaunee territory will always be Indian land (2/9)
Mike Myers: Indigenous teachings still guide our ways of life today (2/9)
Albuquerque Indian Center faces closure without additional money (2/9)
Leader of Bois Forte Band promises fight against substance abuse (2/9)
Coushatta Tribe wins ruling in long-running dispute with contractor (2/9)
Pamunkey Tribe looks to a stronger future with federal recognition (2/9)
Isle de Jean Charles Band to relocate with help of $48M HUD grant (2/9)
Nambe Pueblo hopes small casino stands out in a crowded market (2/9)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe sends fewer gaming funds to communities (2/9)
Tribes in Connecticut still working on process for potential casino (2/9)
Girls basketball team proudly wears Navajo hairstyle during game (2/8)
National Indian Gaming Commission slated to get a third member (2/8)
Senate committee to host roundtable on Tribal Law and Order Act (2/8)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee postpones field hearing into EPA (2/8)
Senate designates National Tribal Colleges and Universities Week (2/8)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation invests in our people's wellbeing (2/8)
Kevin Washburn: Republicans punish tribe in public lands measure (2/8)
Harold Monteau: Democrats stack the deck for only one candidate (2/8)
Cutcha Risling Baldy: Don't let Leonard Peltier die in prison system (2/8)
Robert Jumper: Keep Eastern Cherokee council meetings on record (2/8)
Brian Pierson: Menominee Nation loses decision at Supreme Court (2/8)
Probe continues into unsolved homicide of 11-year-old Native girl (2/8)
Burns Paiute Tribe might seek to reopen judgment for stolen lands (2/8)
Shinnecock Nation approves plans to join medical marijuana field (2/8)
Teams protest corporate sponsor of Native basketball tournament (2/8)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe faces obstacles with repatriation of students (2/8)
Wallace Coffey resigns as chair of Comanche Nation after 25 years (2/8)
Broker accused of lying to tribal client about $190M in investments (2/8)
Seminole Tribe showcases long-lost declaration of independence (2/8)
Pope Francis to celebrate mass at Indian church for trip to Mexico (2/8)
California communities go without as casino revenue fund dries up (2/8)
Non-Indian firm looking to block Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino (2/8)
Umatilla Tribes raise gambling age as sales of liquor start at casino (2/8)
Apology offered to girls who were forced to change Native hairstyle (2/5)
Mark Trahant: Bernie Sanders campaign starts Indian policy group (2/5)
Charles Trimble: Taking responsibility for upkeep of our cemeteries (2/5)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.