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
N.Y. tribe balks at sharing casino revenues with state
Friday, December 12, 2003

Sharing casino revenues with the state of New York threatens thousands of jobs, a leader of the Oneida Nation said on Thursday.

In a speech to more than 1,000 employees of the tribe's successful casino, Oneida representative Ray Halbritter said the state wants a revenue sharing gaming compact. But he rejected the idea as a "gamble" with the jobs the tribe has created since opening the Turning Stone resort in 1993.

"I'm telling you and I'm telling the state, we are not negotiating these jobs," he said in remarks that were distributed by the tribe's press department.

The tribe's compact is up in the air due to a lawsuit brought by an anti-treaty rights group. Upstate Citizens for Equality (UCE) successfully argued that the agreement was invalid because it was not ratified by the state Legislature.

UCE says it doesn't want the casino to close. Instead, the group wants the tribe to share a portion of its revenues with the state and local governments to address effects on the local tax base.

Halbritter said that wasn't going to happen. "If the state takes that to mean that negotiations on other issues are on hold, then that's what it means," he told the employees.

The state was fighting the UCE case and a related one brought against a compact with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. But last month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the dispute. The United South and Eastern Tribes (USET), which represents tribes from New York to Florida, had urged the justices to get involved.

The changing legal landscape prompted the state to drop its objections to the UCE case. [PDF: Letter from state assistant attorney general.] That coincided with the state's demand for casino revenues, which Halbritter said came at a meeting with tribal officials last week.

The state is already depending on money from other tribal casinos to patch up holes in its budget. In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Gov. George Pataki (R) convinced the Legislature to approve three casinos with the Seneca Nation and three more in the Catskills.

Under the agreement, the Seneca Nation shares 25 percent of slot machine revenues from its off-reservation casino in Niagara Falls. The tribes who are vying for the Catskills facilities also face making payments to local governments and to the state.

With Indian gaming taking in an estimated $14.5 billion a year, tribes are under increased pressure to make such concessions. So far, six states -- Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, New York and Wisconsin -- have implemented these provisions. A court-approved compact in Michigan also imposed revenue sharing.

But some tribal leaders around the country say these deals amount to legalized bullying. "Compact negotiations have become a smoke screen for extortion," said Jacob Viarrial, the governor of Pojoaque Pueblo in New Mexico, a tribe that has refused to sign a revenue sharing agreement.

Others see the deals as an inevitability and say they show that tribes are good neighbors. In California, recently signed agreements call for "mitigation" payments to offset the impacts the casinos have on traffic, the environment and non-Indian communities.

The federal government reviews compact agreements as part of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). But the law, passed in 1998, provides no guidance on revenue sharing. Generally, the Department of Interior will approve sharing only when a tribe is granted a certain amount of exclusivity.

Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, introduced a bill to give the government greater latitude to reject compacts that don't "meet the needs of tribal governments and their members." S.1529, amendments to IGRA, remains locked up in committee.

In New York, the Oneida Nation has an annual payroll of $85 million. The tribe expects the expansion of its casino, which brings in an estimated $70 million in profits a year, to create 1,000 more jobs.

Relevant Documents:
Text of S.1529 | Campbell Statement on S.1529

Senate Testimony:
Written Witness Testimony (July 9, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Oneida Nation - http://www.oneida-nation.net
National Indian Gaming Commission - http://www.nigc.gov
National Indian Gaming Association - http://www.indiangaming.org
Upstate Citizens for Equality - http://www.upstate-citizens.org

Related Stories:
Campbell cites pressure facing Indian gaming industry (08/05)

Copyright � 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Winnebago Tribe fights back in court after 'attack on sovereignty'
Winnebago Tribe fights back in court after 'attack on sovereignty'
A raid on the Winnebago Tribe's tobacco operations has spawned a new lawsuit in federal court.

HEARTH Act remains popular as tribes assert more control on homelands
HEARTH Act remains popular as tribes assert more control on homelands
Tribes are making the federal government get out of the way when it comes to leasing on their homelands.

Video: Navajo Code Talker Roy Hawthorne shares his story for veterans project
Video: Navajo Code Talker Roy Hawthorne shares his story for veterans project
The Navajo Nation lost one of its heroes with the passing of Roy Hawthorne, Sr., one of the famed Code Talkers.

Native Sun News Today: Mining near sacred site has 'torn up' roadway
Native Sun News Today: Mining near sacred site has 'torn up' roadway
Gold prospectors are drilling on land adjacent to Pe’ Sla in the Black Hills, a sacred site held in trust for tribes.

Mark Trahant: Trump administration sabotages the treaty and trust relationship
Mark Trahant: Trump administration sabotages the treaty and trust relationship
The Trump administration maintains tribes are a race rather than sovereign governments, implicating the flow of Medicaid dollars to Indian Country.

Graham Lee Brewer: A bipartisan meltdown over the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act
Graham Lee Brewer: A bipartisan meltdown over the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act
A bill exempting tribal nations from labor regulations fails in the Senate as union concerns trump sovereignty.

Cronkite News: White Mountain Apache Tribe water project stalls in Washington
Cronkite News: White Mountain Apache Tribe water project stalls in Washington
Labor unions and Indian water rights aren’t usually associated with one another. But to the White Mountain Apache Tribe they’re currently tightly entwined.

MSU News: Northern Cheyenne student lands prestigious Udall Scholarship
MSU News: Northern Cheyenne student lands prestigious Udall Scholarship
A Montana State University student is one step closer to his goal of developing renewable energy projects for the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.

Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe faces local questions about homelands bill
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe is seeing support in the nation's capital for a bill to protect its homelands but the situation looks a little different back home.

Gila River Indian Community ranks third in top lobbying contracts in DC
Gila River Indian Community ranks third in top lobbying contracts in DC
The Gila River Indian Community spends big in the nation's capital, with a team of lobbyists working on health care, education and other key issues.

Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to include tribes in jobs for every American program
Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to include tribes in jobs for every American program
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is drafting legislation to guarantee a job to every willing American.

Ho-Chunk Nation still waiting for movement on off-reservation casino
It's been more than five years since the Ho-Chunk Nation has since action on its off-reservation casino. What gives?

Tribes prepare for takeover of troubled Indian Health Service hospital
Tribes prepare for takeover of troubled Indian Health Service hospital
Citing chronic underfunding and inaction at the federal level, tribes in the Great Plains are planning to take over a troubled Indian Health Service hospital.

Navajo Nation mourns passing of Code Talker Roy Hawthorne at age of 92
Navajo Nation mourns passing of Code Talker Roy Hawthorne at age of 92
'I always stress to people that we aren’t heroes,' said the late Roy Hawthorne, Sr. 'We were chosen to serve in the Marine Corps and bring liberty to the enemy.'

Bill to repeal old ban on distilleries in Indian Country gets first hearing
Bill to repeal old ban on distilleries in Indian Country gets first hearing
A bill that repeals a remnant of a more paternalistic era in federal Indian policy is getting its first airing on Capitol Hill.

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe weighs in on local election with three citizens on ballot
Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe weighs in on local election with three citizens on ballot
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe is getting out the Native vote ahead of an upcoming election in New York.

Chippewa Cree Tribe breaks ground on youth-driven skate park on reservation
Chippewa Cree Tribe breaks ground on youth-driven skate park on reservation
A skate park is coming to the Rocky Boy's Reservation thanks to action from Chippewa Cree youth and some high-profile support.

Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe weighs rights for off-reservation citizens
Native Sun News Today: Oglala Sioux Tribe weighs rights for off-reservation citizens
An Oglala Sioux Tribe task force wants citizens who live within treaty boundaries included in elections.

Native Sun News Today Editorial: President Trump is tearing the Republican Party, and America, down
Editorial: President Trump is tearing the Republican Party, and America, down
What is normal and what is not in the Donald Trump era? Morality has been thrown out of the window.

Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu: I am Kanaka first. I am Native Hawaiian first.
Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu: I am Kanaka first. I am Native Hawaiian first.
Aloha allows us to always have a commonality, regardless of our politics or gender expression.

Top Trump officials skipped out on tribal consultation session amid big changes
Top Trump officials skipped out on tribal consultation session amid big changes
Tribes are being excluded as the Department of Health and Human Services refuses to take a stand on Medicaid and the first Americans.

Tribes welcome probe of Trump administration's handling of key agreements
The Trump administration is facing another internal investigation, this one over the handling of gaming agreements for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe.

Comanche Nation citizens warned of big hit from rival Chickasaw Nation casino
The Comanche Nation is expecting a 25 percent decline in revenues at one of its gaming facilities, and tribal citizens will feel the pain too.

Pamunkey Tribe connected to acquisition of land by gaming company
The recently recognized Pamunkey Tribe is moving full steam ahead with plans for a gaming facility in Virginia.

Man accused of killing indigenous healer dies in apparent lynching in Peru
Man accused of killing indigenous healer dies in apparent lynching in Peru
Olivia Arévalo, an 81-year-old indigenous leader, was killed in Peru and her community apparently took justice in its own hands.

Fired police officer won't go to trial for death of Native man until next year
The Native community is demanding justice for the death of Zachary Bearheels at the hands of police officers in Omaha, Nebraska.

Native Sun News Today: Spotted Eagle promises 'Faith, Hope and Leadership'
Native Sun News Today: Spotted Eagle promises 'Faith, Hope and Leadership'
A strong sense of place dictates Faith Spotted Eagle's priorities as she seeks public office in South Dakota.

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: An Indian man walks into court and asks a judge to do the right thing
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: An Indian man walks into court and asks a judge to do the right thing
It was an astonishing day for Chase Iron Eyes as he went before a white-man judge in North Dakota.

YES! Magazine: Native language schools are taking back education for their people
YES! Magazine: Native language schools are taking back education for their people
The last fluent speakers of Wôpanâak passed away more than a century ago. A school is working to revive the language.

Jaclyn Lanae: Another Earth Day is upon us. Here's how you can get involved
Jaclyn Lanae: Another Earth Day is upon us. Here's how you can get involved
There are many reasons to gather together around a single idea, a particular cause but Earth Day is perhaps the single most important cause.

James Giago Davies: A dozen Lakota drivers race into action at the Speedway
James Giago Davies: A dozen Lakota drivers race into action at the Speedway
Folks in Lakota country would be surprised at the number of Native drivers that make up the grid at the Black Hills Speedway in South Dakota.

Mechoopda Tribe: 'Enough is enough' as appeals court rules in homelands case
The Mechoopda Tribe is still willing to sit down with local opponents to discuss plans for a long-delayed casino in northern California.

Only caribou herd in lower 48 United States declared 'functionally extinct'
The only caribou herd in the lower 48 United States has been declared 'functionally extinct' because it is down to just three animals.

Tribes kept in the dark as Trump administration rolls on with reorganization
Despite claims by the Trump administration that it won't move forward with a reorganization without Indian Country's input, tribes continue to be excluded.

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.