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 hears from states in gaming case
Thursday, January 29, 2004

A coalition of nine states has sided with the Bush administration in seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of an Indian gaming dispute with implications for tribes nationwide.

Led by California, the group takes aim at two circuit court rulings that favored tribal interests. In an 11-page amicus brief filed last week, the states say the decisions threaten regulation of the $14 billion Indian gaming industry.

Unless the matter is resolved, the states warn that "creative minds" could create "highly sophisticated" electronic devices that look like slot machines and play like slot machines. "From the player's point of view," the brief argues, "these so-called 'technologic aids' are indistinguishable in any meaningful sense from any other slot machine along the casino wall."

These devices upset the regulation of Indian gaming in several ways, the states say. One example cited is that tribes could offer the machines at casinos without having to negotiate a compact.

But even tribes with compacts are affected, the states say. Electronic devices would allow tribes to bypass restrictions that some compacts place on slot machines. In California, for example, each tribe is limited to 2,000 slot machines. At least two tribes have installed electronic casino machines.

The final threat the states cite is their own pocketbooks. Tribes could "avoid revenue sharing obligations" in existing compacts by replacing slot machines with electronic devices that states can't touch.

In California, where Indian casinos generate an estimated $4 billion every year, compacts and revenue-sharing are hot topics. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) wants tribes to share $500 million with the state. His gaming negotiator has already met with several tribes.

In Connecticut, whose Democratic attorney general Richard Blumenthal joined the brief, two tribes already share 25 percent of their slot machine revenues. Last year, they sent more than $400 million to the state.

Some of the other attorneys general that signed the brief hail from states that refuse to negotiate gaming compacts with tribes. Alabama, Nebraska and Texas are among this set.

Tribes in these three states are limited to bingo, pull-tabs and similar games. But one tribe in Nebraska, the Santee Sioux, is facing penalties for installing electronic machines. This dispute is the subject of the 8th Circuit Court decision the states and the Bush administration want the Supreme Court to review.

Rounding out the pack are Massachusetts, where no tribal gaming facilities exist, and Nevada, Minnesota and South Dakota. Taken together, the nine states are home to more than 150 tribes.

One state absent from the brief is Oklahoma. Two tribes there, the Seneca-Cayuga and the Fort Sill Apache, along with the Northern Arapaho of Wyoming, are the subject of the 10th Circuit Court decision that is also up for review. Gov. Brad Henry (D) has just proposed a bill legalize the "highly sophisticated" machines the nine states speak of in their brief.

The three tribes, along with an casino machine company, submitted their own brief last week. They urged the Supreme Court justices not to accept the appeal, arguing that it was moot because the pull-tab machine in question is no longer manufactured. But they also said the two decisions are of "doubtful significance."

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

Related Stories:
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)

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

Latest Headlines:

Family from Crow Tribe wins right to pursue lawsuit against federal agent
Mark Trahant: Republican health care reform bill impacts Indian Country
Steve Russell: Republican answer to Obamacare only benefits the wealthy
Hualapai Tribe learns more about citizen who was killed on duty in Vietnam
Zia Pueblo wants symbol removed from flag of city in far-away Wisconsin
Northern Cheyenne Tribe won't touch coal deposit despite economic woes
Life-saving road for Native village inches forward in Alaska and in D.C.
Two more Pueblo tribes challenge state's demand for gaming revenue
Wilton Rancheria won't comment on status of gaming compact talks
Trump administration rolls out first rule under historic trust reform law
Interior Department sends out another $13.1M in Cobell buy-back offers
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs headed to New Mexico for hearing
House committee again leaves out Indian Country in hearing on Interior
Mark Maxey: Oklahoma tries to crush Native protesters with new law
Carletta Tilousi: Havasupai Tribe threatened by uranium development
Opinion: Don't be fooled by Jimmie Durham's claims of Cherokee heritage
Opinion: Economic development for Indian Country in upcoming farm bill
Government worker suspended after calling Native principal a 'rabid s----'
Kiowa citizen Tristan Ahtone to report on tribes for High Country News
New York Times features Dina Gilio-Whitaker in editorial on health care
Tribes break ground on monument to their history in Virginia's capitol
Warm Springs Tribes battle large wildfire that broke out behind casino
Spokane Tribe casino doesn't bother Air Force despite claims in lawsuit
Tribes in for long haul as oil continues to flow through Dakota Access
Mark Trahant: Don't plan on getting sick if you're from Indian Country
Tiffany Midge: I shall joke as long as the grass grows and the rivers flow
Director of Office of Indian Energy deletes offensive Twitter account
States cheer decision on grizzly bears amid tribal concerns about hunts
Washington asks high court to overturn Yakama Nation treaty victory
New York Times editorial board reconsiders stance on racist trademarks
Colville Tribes remove council member a week before citizens go to polls
Marijuana firm promises big investments with help of ex-Seminole chair
Lumbee Tribe ordered to release voter list to opponents of chairman
National Indian Gaming Association chooses David Bean as vice chair
Eastern Cherokee citizen promoted to vice president of casino marketing
Tribes in Connecticut waiting on governor to sign bill for new casino
Secretary Zinke removes protections for grizzlies over tribal objections
Court sets final deadline for remaining payments from Cobell settlement
Mary Annette Pember: Indian Child Welfare Act strengthens our families
Peter d'Errico: Navajo authors offer fresh perspective on sovereignty
Native woman was jailed and forced to ride with assailant during trial
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe challenges new permit for uranium operation
Montana tribes get new member of Congress who pleaded to assault
Connecticut tribes welcome court decision favoring new casino law
Pueblo tribes dispute state's demand for $40M in gaming revenues
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe remains confident of approval of casino
Nooksack Tribe accepting slot tickets while casino remains closed
Key House committee under fire for moving slowly on tribal agenda
Tribes go it alone on climate change as Trump team shifts priorities
Bryan Newland: President Trump's budget threatens tribal treaties
Steve Russell: The GI Bill changed the United States for the better
Harold Monteau: Democrats lack proactive agenda, proactive strategy
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe orders 20 non-citizens to leave reservation
Wilton Rancheria accused of working too closely with city on casino
Witness list for hearing on bill to reform the Indian Health Service
Arne Vainio: What does the princess want to be when she grows up?
Doug George-Kanentiio: 'Spirit Game' brings Iroquois lacrosse to life
Cronkite News: Navajo activist vows fight against racist NFL mascot
Eric Hannel: Addressing the health care crisis among Native Americans
Bill for tribal regalia at graduation ceremonies advances in California
>>> 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.