Senate approves Lytton Band casino legislation

Casino San Pablo, Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, California The Senate on Monday approved S.1347, a bill to restrict the use of a gaming site in northern California.

The bill blocks the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians from turning its existing Class II facility into a Class III facility without state and federal approval. It also bars the tribe from expanding the "exterior physical measurements" of the Casino San Pablo.

The casino is located on 9 acres that was taken into trust by an act of Congress. The Omnibus Indian Advancement Act, which was passed in the final days of the Clinton administration, allowed the tribe to bypass the lengthy land-into-trust process for gaming sites.

S.1347, which is sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), maintains the trust land status of the site but requires any future changes to be treated as a Section 20 application under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The bill doesn't say whether or not the tribe can claim any of the exceptions in Section 20 or if the tribe has to pursue the "two-part determination" process.

The Senate approved S.1347 by unanimous consent. It has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.

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Casino San Pablo expansion blocked (The Daily Review 11/9)