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Supreme Court turns down gaming machine dispute
Monday, March 1, 2004

Over the objections of the Bush administration and several states, the U.S. Supreme today refused to hear a dispute affecting the use of electronic casino machines in the $14 billion Indian gaming industry.

Without comment, the justices turned down appeals of two decisions that were favorable to tribal interests. The Department of Justice sought review of the cases, claiming that regulation of Indian gaming was at risk.

The move allows the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska to continue offering an electronic machine similar to pull-tabs. The government claimed the machines were illegal without a tribal-state compact, which Nebraska refuses to negotiate.

Another machine was at issue in a case involving two Oklahoma tribes and a Wyoming tribe. But that machine is no longer in use and is no longer manufactured.

Still, the rejection of both cases ensures that the electronic aids to Class II games such as bingo and pull-tabs are indeed Class II games. Government lawyers argued that machines resembling slot machines should be classified as Class III.

The cases were U.S. v. Santee Sioux Tribe, No. 03-762, and U.S. v. Seneca-Cayuga Tribe, No. 03-740.

Order List:
Supreme Court (March 1, 2004)

Relevant Documents:
Petition: U.S. v. Santee Sioux Tribe | Petition: U.S. v. Seneca-Cayuga Tribe

Docket Sheets:
U.S. v. Santee Sioux Tribe | U.S. v. Seneca-Cayuga Tribe

Lower Court Decisions:
U.S. v. Santee Sioux Tribe (March 20, 2003) | Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma v. National Indian Gaming Commission (April 17, 2003)

Relevant Links:
The Santee Sioux Tribe -
National Indian Gaming Commission -

Related Stories:
Neb. tribe calls for rejection of gaming dispute (02/13)
Supreme Court hears from states in gaming case (01/29)
Tribal leaders share views on threats to sovereignty (01/20)
Calif. tribes meet challenges to gaming rights (1/15)
Bush briefs sound alarm on Indian gaming regulation (11/25)
Supreme Court asked to rule on Indian gaming (09/30)
NIGC resolves status of company's casino machine (09/24)
Hogen says Okla. tribes skirting federal gaming law (05/19)
Appeals court says game is legal Class II (04/21)
Appeals court upholds Santee casino games (3/20)
Casino company loses Indian gaming suit (09/11)
Santee Sioux leaders found in contempt of court (6/22)

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