Dave Palermo: Sen. Feinstein fibbed on tribal gaming claims

Did Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) fib when she claimed that California is home to more than 100 tribal casinos? Dave Palermo reports on how the controversy affects legislation to fix the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar:
Unfortunately, when it comes to politics, perception is reality. And the poster child for false perceptions of Indian gambling might be Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, who last year reintroduced legislation to halt “reservation shopping.”

In a fit of hyperbole, Feinstein got up on the floor of the Senate and pronounced, “More than 100 new Las Vegas-style casinos have opened in the state in the last 12 years.”

The remark left more than a few scratching their heads. California has 59 tribes operating 60 casinos.

When Proposition 1A was approved by California voters in 1999, allowing tribes to operate casinos on trust lands, 61 tribes signed regulatory agreements with the state. That figure has grown by 10 in the last 13 years.

To say Feinstein was a bit off the mark in her math is an understatement. She got an “F.”

But the point was made: Look out, Indian casinos are coming.

Contrary to protestations by Feinstein and others, there has been little in the way of growth in the Indian gambling industry.

Yet the controversy over off-reservation gambling is having devastating consequences for tribes.

Get the Story:
Off-Rez, On Point (Global Gaming Magazine October 2013)
Inside Interior (Global Gaming Magazine October 2013)

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