Indian Gaming Today

Friday, March 28, 2008

Revenue Sharing in Wisconsin

Over the last three years, tribes in Wisconsin have contributed $196 million to the state under current revenue-sharing provisions in the tribal-state compacts. This is big money being kicked back to the state compared to the prior compact provisions, and also is big in relation to revenue sharing in most other states.

The compacts have been subject to convoluted litigation in state court, as Kathryn detailed in her article, "Caught in the Middle: How State Politics, State Law, and State Courts Constrain Tribal Influence over Indian Gaming" (90 Marquette Law Review, pp. 971-1008 (2007)).

It’s worth exploring how the state is using those newfound dollars. General fund? Public schools? Budget offsets? Feel free to drop us a line if you’ve looked into that.

Tribes Yield Big Profits, in the Chicago Sun-Times.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A reference to Kathryn's quotes on the Mashpee in Massachusetts showed up recently in this "Casino Friend" blog on the Mashpee Wampanoag casino plan.

The post asks,

"Kathryn Rand suggests that the BIA might be suspicious of a claimed reservation sited in an ideal location for a casino. Would she say the same thing if the tribe acted like any big corporation would in their position and shopped about to have a reservation on land that was perfectly suited for a specific business, be it an industrial park, a shopping center, or for that matter for growing cranberries?"

The answer is no, not because Kathryn thinks that there is good cause to be "suspicious" of casino-style gaming on newly acquired lands, but because the current political climate is one of hostility toward so-called "reservation shopping."

In fact, we have been critical of this hostility, and called for policymakers to be guided not by politics, but by IGRA's policy goals and tribal sovereignty. We'd point this blogger to our 2007 article in the Virginia Journal of Social Policy and the Law, "How Congress Can and Should 'Fix' the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act."

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Mass. Votes Against Legalizing Casino Gambling, at Least for Now

Breaking news:

Instead of approving Gov. Deval Patrick's proposal for three casinos, the state House voted 106-48 to form a commission to study the issue further, effectively killing Patrick's plan for the year. The Mashpee Wampanoag will continue to pursue their land-into-trust application, with plans of opening at least a Class II facility and perhaps negotiating a Class III compact with the state.

Kathryn's quoted in this article on the likely issues to come. Read more
here in the Cape Cod Times.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Report from BingoWorld (sounds intriguing, no?)

We've just returned from BingoWorld Conference and Expo , hosted by BNP Media Gaming Group at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas. We spoke on a panel titled, "Class II Bingo: The Battle for the Bright Line," along with National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chair Phil Hogen and Quapaw Tribe Vice Chair J.R. Mathews.

Chairman Hogen set out the history of the NIGC's proposed regulations, meant to clarify the distinction between Class II bingo machines and Class III slot machines. Vice Chairman Mathews spoke eloquently on the impact on tribes, particularly in Class II states like Oklahoma.

For our part, we detailed the legal background and legal issues raised by the proposed regulations, as well the political impetus and policy implications of the proposed regulations. (More to come on our comments.) The comment period is fast drawing to a close on March 9, though Chairman Hogen seemed to suggest that it could once again be extended.

For more on the proposed regulations, click here.

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