indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
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...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Indian farmers question Keepseagle attorneys (8/22)
Brandon Ecoffey: Navajo golfer Rickie Fowler is a fast-rising star (8/22)
Oglala Sioux leader and educator Gerald One Feather passes on (8/22)
Indigenous Fine Arts Market kicks off big weekend in New Mexico (8/22)
Gyasi Ross: Native people are all too familiar with police brutality (8/22)
Melanie Yazzie: Border town violence connected to colonization (8/22)
Ray Young Bear: No tribal member wants to be known by R-word (8/22)
Washington Post: Editorial board will no longer use R-word 'slur' (8/22)
Matthew Murguia: The facts are clear on Washington NFL mascot (8/22)
Three Indian artists selected as NEA's National Heritage Fellows (8/22)
President of Navajo Nation bans smoking in executive buildings (8/22)
Recently recognized Tejon Tribe to close enrollment next month (8/22)
Cowlitz Tribe pays $1.4M for building to be used as medical office (8/22)
Nooksack Tribe must answer to casino loan lawsuit in state court (8/22)
Menominee Nation remains confident with off-reservation casino (8/22)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe parts ways with 'face' of casino (8/22)
Iipay Nation plans to offer real money Internet poker next week (8/22)
Seneca Nation shared $13.9M in casino revenue with community (8/22)
Native Sun News: DOJ backs tribes in ICWA case in South Dakota (8/21)
Jeffrey Whalen: Oglala Sioux Tribe's police force is in 'shambles' (8/21)
Ryan Wilson: Native language immersion programs need support (8/21)
Oklahoma City Indian Clinic celebrates grand opening of building (8/21)
Walt Lamar: Remove Gary Edwards from law enforcement group (8/21)
Secretary Jewell issues order and guidance on trust relationship (8/21)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes see $7.4M for buyback (8/21)
North Dakota tribe accused of concealing data on pipeline spill (8/21)
Navy rejects transfer of surplus property to Narragansett Tribe (8/21)
Kake Tribe returns to site of 1857 deadly attack in Washington (8/21)
Opinion: Nez Perce Tribe defends its homeland from big energy (8/21)
KCUR: Modern and historic Indian art on display in Kansas City (8/21)
Mike Wise: Longtime NFL referee avoided Washington's games (8/21)
Enterprise Rancheria sues state over delayed Class III compact (8/21)
Santee Sioux Tribe working to bring more attractions to casino (8/21)
Mashantucket Tribe sees credit hit as casino competition grows (8/21)
Chumash Tribe to respond to concerns about casino expansion (8/21)
Travel: Smoking allowed at tribal casinos in northern California (8/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe gears up for uranium battle (8/20)
Eyapaha Today: J. Waylon Miller leads Friends of Cesar Romero (8/20)
Sandra Fox: Fixing the education system for our Indian children (8/20)
Albert Bender: US-backed genocide in Guatemalan spurs exodus (8/20)
Mark Chavaree: Penobscot Nation fights to save namesake river (8/20)
Mark Rogers: One more day with post-traumatic stress disorder (8/20)
Still no word on Cobell payments as end of August approaches (8/20)
Native boy found safe after going missing for nearly 24 hours (8/20)
9th Circuit allows Lummi Nation to pursue fishing rights claims (8/20)
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe gains support for land claim agreement (8/20)
Delaware Tribe to discuss plans for land with officials in Kansas (8/20)
Wind River Reservation students enjoy back-to-school haircuts (8/20)
Review: Native man serves as anti-hero in 'Winter In The Blood' (8/20)
Bill introduced to extend recognition to Clatsop-Nehalem Tribe (8/20)
Governor pressed on Menominee Nation off-reservation casino (8/20)
Group seeks referendum on Tohono O'odham Nation casino deal (8/20)
Lawmakers approve Class III gaming compact with Karuk Tribe (8/20)
Enterprise Rancheria awaits action on Class III gaming compact (8/20)
Wampanoag casino opponents hope to catch Obama's attention (8/20)
Opinion: Tribal gaming creates short term and long term benefits (8/20)
Native Sun News: Oglala man's business dealings under scrutiny (8/19)
Mark Trahant: Behind the scenes of Obamacare in Indian Country (8/19)
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.