Sen. Feinstein introduces bill to restrict Lytton Band's casino

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) introduced S.872, a bill to restrict the gaming rights of the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, on Tuesday.

The bill bars the tribe from expanding the "exterior physical measurements" of the San Pablo Lytton Casino, a Class II facility in the Bay Area. The bill also requires the tribe to undergo a federal review process if it wishes to engage in Class III gaming at the site.

"If this bill is not approved, the Lytton Tribe could take the existing casino that serves as their reservation and turn it into a large Nevada-style gambling complex," Feinstein said in a statement introduced on the Senate floor. "In fact, this is exactly what was proposed in the summer of 2004. I am pleased that the tribe has abandoned the plan seeking a sizable Class III casino, but without this legislation the tribe could reverse their decision at any time."

The tribe acquired the site through an act of Congress. The law backdated the acquisition in order to avoid review under Section 20 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The tribe could conceivably satisfy an exception in Section 20 but the process could take several years. The Congressional action led to a speedy opening of the casino.

S.872 is the second Indian gaming bill that Feinstein has introduced. She is sponsoring S.771, the Tribal Gaming Eligibility Act, a bill that would limit new tribal casinos.

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