indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Indian Law Online Master Degree
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...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Cherokee Nation chief apologizes for attending live pigeon shoot (10/1)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Telling the indigenous story with public art (10/1)
DOI puts another $1M from lands sales into Cobell scholarships (10/1)
9th Circuit bars use of tribal conviction in domestic assault case (10/1)
2nd Circuit rebuffs tribal online lenders in dispute with New York (10/1)
Crystal Willcuts: A tribute to my mother who was lost to cancer (10/1)
Seneca Nation man launches campaign for mayor of Salamanca (10/1)
BIA ends comment period on reform to federal recognition rule (10/1)
African-American lawmakers accuse Pamunkey Tribe of racism (10/1)
Officials claim Oklahoma owed $30M in Impact Aid for schools (10/1)
FCC will consider petition to outlaw R-word on public airwaves (10/1)
BLM struggles to manage wild horse population as herds grow (10/1)
Opinion: North Fork Rancheria casino brings boost to economy (10/1)
Report places economic impact of US gaming industry at $240B (10/1)
Shinnecock Nation gaming partner cut $250K monthly payment (10/1)
Column: Seminole Tribe poised for continued growth in gaming (10/1)
Native Sun News: Agency weighs uranium mine near sacred site (9/30)
Jim Abourezk: South Dakota tribes can put Rick Weiland in office (9/30)
Cherokee chief participated in live pigeon shoot for Sen. Inhofe (9/30)
Navajo vice president returns home after near fatal spider bite (9/30)
North Dakota tribe sees big problems as energy industry grows (9/30)
Andre Cramblit: Another year brings challenges for our people (9/30)
Jack Duran: State's 'shocking' attack on Big Lagoon Rancheria (9/30)
Navajo Nation Council to select a new leader after resignation (9/30)
Editorial: Long delayed trust fund settlement for Navajo Nation (9/30)
Keepseagle plaintiffs oppose use of $380M to create foundation (9/30)
Opinion: Working with New Mexico tribes to protect sacred sites (9/30)
Pueblo man chosen as chair of VA minority advisory committee (9/30)
Woman sues over fall at Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe business (9/30)
Seminole Tribe makes another attempt to join banking business (9/30)
Mohegan Tribe purchases more wood pellet production facilities (9/30)
Ponca Tribe takes down old headquarters and readies new home (9/30)
Native Mob gang leader sentenced to 43 years in federal prison (9/30)
Three indicted for murder of man from Northern Arapaho Tribe (9/30)
Rivals funded DC trips to oppose Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/30)
American Gaming Association includes tribes in economic report (9/30)
Editorial: Vote yes to support North Fork Rancheria gaming deal (9/30)
Editorial: Florida shouldn't take a gamble with casino expansion (9/30)
Tim Giago: All Indian people ask is for America to honor treaties (9/29)
Native Sun News: Tribes take on IRS and win battle over taxation (9/29)
Mark Trahant: Indian vote could bring a surprise in South Dakota (9/29)
Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act signed into law by Obama (9/29)
Obama signs law for settlement with Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe (9/29)
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: Transforming the spirit of suicide (9/29)
Migizi Pensoneau: Behind the scenes at a Washington NFL game (9/29)
Donna Ennis: Ancestor starting asking about trust fund in 1900s (9/29)
Steven Newcomb: Indigenous conference yields power to states (9/29)
Kyle Mays: Rejecting narrowminded views of indigenous studies (9/29)
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.