Bill to approve non-Indian casinos in North Dakota called 'racist'

The Spirit Lake Nation owns and operates the Spirit Lake Casino and Resort in Saint Michael, North Dakota. Photo: Spirit Lake Casino

A proposal to authorize up to six non-Indian casinos in North Dakota is generating some controversy.

The state is already home to five tribal casinos and critics are wondering whether the market can withstand more. That's why some Democrats believe Republicans are trying to punish tribes for standing up to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"It's racist," Sen. Richard Marcellais (D), a former chairman of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, told the Associated Press.

"I feel like going over there and knocking him through the window," Marcellais said of Rep. Al Carlson (R), the top Republican who is pushing the measure.

If the bill passes, it would put the issue on an upcoming ballot because the state constitution does not otherwise allow full-scale casinos.

Read More on the Story:
North Dakota casino proposal risks angering tribes (AP 3/2)
Proposal would allow for state-owned casinos in North Dakota (WDAZ 3/1)

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