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
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Supreme Court asked to rule on Indian gaming
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The Bush administration is asking the Supreme Court to step into a controversial area of the $14 billion Indian gaming industry.

In court papers filed this month, the Department of Justice said it would appeal two decisions favorable to tribal interests in Oklahoma, Nebraska and Wyoming. On September 15, Solicitor General Ted Olson sought, and received, extensions to submit formal petitions next month.

The cases affect casino game classification, an increasingly litigious segment of Indian gaming. Tribal, state and federal regulators are often at odds over what is considered legal in states where Class III games, such as slot machines, are not allowed.

Tribes in these states end up turning technologically advanced games that mimic the look and feel of slot machines yet are marketed as Class II games like bingo or pull tabs. Some casino companies cater exclusively to this market.

But the tribes run the risk of incurring fines or having their casinos shut down if the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) says the machines are illegal unless operated pursuant to a tribal-state compact.

The Seneca-Cayuga Tribe and the Fort Sill Apache Tribe, both of Oklahoma, and the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming challenged NIGC's ruling on the "Magical Irish Instant Bingo Dispenser System." Federal officials threatened to prosecute the tribes if they offered the machine, saying it fell into Class III category of games.

But the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said NIGC's determination was wrong. In an April 17 decision, a unanimous three-judge panel ruled the game is Class II.

The Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska was in a similar situation with the "Lucky Tab II" machine. In a March 20 decision, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against NIGC and said the machine is Class II.

For the tribes, the stakes are high. The Santee Sioux Tribe was fined $4 million and its leaders were held in contempt of court because they had installed slot machines at their tiny casino. The tribe replaced the slots with Lucky Tab II machines and a reversal at the Supreme Court would deal another blow to a tribe whose bank accounts were once frozen in the dead of winter, forcing cancellation of services to tribal members.

Even though the Magical Irish game is no longer in play, tribes in Oklahoma have been under the watchful eye of NIGC chairman Phil Hogen, who has warned them repeatedly about offering other machines. Earlier this year, he settled a classification dispute with the Chickasaw Nation, which has the largest casino empire in the state, and a game manufacturer with close financial ties to Oklahoma tribes.

Although game classification is an area ripe for lawsuits, most of the cases have been resolved at the district court or appeals court. The Supreme Court has never ruled on the issue.

The Department of Justice has until October 23 to file petitions for writ of certiorari in U.S. v. Santee Sioux Tribe and Ashcroft v. Seneca-Cayuga Tribe. Only if the Supreme Court accepts the petition the would the cases be heard.

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 - http://www.santeedakota.org
National Indian Gaming Commission - http://www.nigc.gov

Related Stories:
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)

Copyright � 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...

Latest Headlines:

'Ominous shadow' of President Trump looms over annual meeting of tribal leaders
Senate narrowly approves budget resolution without taking up pro-tribal provisions
Native Sun News Today: Tribes decry court ruling favoring Dakota Access Pipeline
Ivan Star Comes Out: Only dictators demand for their citizens to 'respect the flag'
Decision day for National Congress of American Indians with leadership changes
House subcommittee takes up controversial American Indian Empowerment Act
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on public safety measures
Arne Vainio: I wanted you to know you are loved and that I am bringing you home
Albert Bender: Native community celebrates Indigenous Peoples' Day in Nashville
Native Sun News Today: Student speaks out about racism in South Dakota school
James Giago Davies: School fumbles historic opportunity after incident of racism
Tribes open their doors in response to devastating wildfires in northern California
National Congress of American Indians looks ahead to Tara Sweeney confirmation
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs sign agreement for Cobell buy-back program
Alaska Native executive Tara Sweeney named to top Bureau of Indian Affairs job
Tribes slam Trump administration for adding hurdles to land-into-trust process
Native Sun News Today: Native Americans are over-represented in county's jail
Tim Giago: Clones in Congress won't stand up to the Clown in the White House
Mark Trahant: Exploring the 'business' of news in Indian Country these days
Native Sun News Today: Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate debuts new grocery store
Bears Ears remains in limbo as Republicans leave tribes out of monument bill
Mark Trahant: Trump brings more chaos to health coverage for tribal citizens
YES! Magazine: Tribal hospital in Alaska brings traditional foods to patients
Native Sun News Today: Tribal leaders absent at border town liquor summit
Native Sun News Today Editorial: Teams continue to denigrate Indian people
Secretary Zinke requires special flag to be flown when he's in Interior building
Lawsuit seeks damages for death of girl at Bureau of Indian Education school
President of Northern Cheyenne Tribe remains in office after disputed removal
Republican candidate questions mural for depicting Indian people as too 'dark'
Bureau of Indian Affairs supports name change for 'Negro Bill Canyon' in Utah
Aroostook Band of Micmacs backs ballot referendum for new casino in Maine
Gun Lake Tribe secures strong local support in casino case except for one town
Second federal appeals court chimes in with decision favoring tribal homelands
Harold Frazier: Another incident of racism targets Native youth in South Dakota
Native American Voting Rights Coalition convenes second hearing in Wisconsin
Yurok Tribe welcomes introduction of bill to add important lands to reservation
YES! Magazine: Native family uses energy proceeds to benefit Indian Country
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe refutes rumors of Black Hills 'sale'
James Giago Davies: A best friend sticks with us even at the very end of life
Cronkite News: Republicans quickly move bill to limit new national monuments
Raymond Hitchcock: Sorry but tribal casinos aren't linked to increases in crime
Osage Nation prepared to fight state over water rights on historic reservation
Eastern Cherokee council complete after second round of voting for one seat
Iowa Tribe announces 'Monsterous' deal linked to long-delayed poker website
Squaxin Island Tribe holds grand opening for remodeled hotel tower at casino
Judge deals tribes major setback with decision in Dakota Access Pipeline case
YES! Magazine: Winnemem Wintu Tribe struggles to bring salmon back home
Native Sun News Today: Rapid City turns out for Native American Day parade
Ivan Star Comes Out: Our teachers shouldn't be doing the jobs of the parents
Non-Indian parents file lawsuit to halt transfer of child custody cases to tribes
County in Oregon holds public hearing on name of 'Dead Indian Memorial Road'
Swinomish Tribe set to open substance abuse treatment center in Washington
All-Native band Warpath from California mixes heavy metal with tribal elements
Ramapough Lunaape Nation defends right to host prayer camp in New Jersey
Chehalis Tribe working with local authorities on fatal shooting outside casino
>>> 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.