Indian Gaming Now

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January 12th

Cowlitz Trust Acquisition Record of Decision

Jan 12 2011
The U.S. Department of Interior's Record of Decision for the Trust Acquisition of and Reservation Proclamation for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is available on Matthew Fletcher's Turtle Talk blog.  Thanks to folks that responded to our request to get a copy of the ROD!  Here's an excerpt from the summary:

January 3rd

Happy New Year, and Clues About Carcieri

Jan 3 2011
Happy New Year!  We're excited to continue blogging on Indian gaming law, policy, and politics in 2011.  And the hints are that we should see some significant developments in 2011.

December 23rd, 2010

And Now for the Lawsuit . . . .

Dec 23 2010
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has filed a federal suit to shut down the new Bay Mills casino in Michigan, located just a few miles north of Gaylord off of I-75 -- that's in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula, while the Bay Mills Indian Community has its headquarters and reservation in the Upper Peninsula.  Cox claims that the casino is located on land that does not qualify as "Indian lands" under IGRA, so that the tribe's casino is not authorized either by IGRA or by the tribal-state compact.  The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians filed a similar suit against Bay Mills on Wednesday.  We've been following this situation in the last several posts.

December 18th

Michigan AG Demands Closure of New Bay Mills Casino

Dec 18 2010
As we discussed in an earlier post, the Bay Mills Indian Community opened a new casino a few weeks ago.  The casino is on land that is owned by the tribe, but reportedly has not yet been taken into trust by the federal government.  As we warned in our earlier post, "the tribe may have opened itself up to either state regulation or violation of the federal Johnson Act . . . this is definitely one to watch."  Now, the Michigan Attorney General is demanding that the tribe close the casino.

December 11th

Response to Feinstein's Editorial

Dec 11 2010
Merlene Sanchez, Chairwoman of the Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians (see one of the guest posts by Kathryn's Indian Gaming Law students in June for more on the Band and its efforts to open a casino), had this to say about Senator Dianne Feinstein's proposed amendment:

"'Restored land' tribes are not 'reservation shopping' as Feinstein wrongfully stated. Reservation shopping applies to tribes with existing reservations that shop for new lands to develop a more profitable casino site. There currently are no active 'reservation shopping' proposals in the Bay Area.  Feinstein claimed that 'restored lands' projects in urban areas, like our tribe's proposal for Point Molate, defy California and federal law. That is simply untrue."

December 8th

Feinstein on "Reservation Shopping"

Dec 8 2010
"It's time to say 'enough is enough' to reservation shopping," wrote Senator Dianne Feinstein in a guest editorial in the Contra Costa Times.  As we've explained, "reservation shopping" is a loaded term -- one of those soundbites that catches on and gets used to describe all sorts of situations, whether fairly or not.  "Reservation shopping" conjures up images of an unsavory backroom deal, where tribes compromise interests in "real" Indian lands for an ideally located casino.  Loaded and frequently misused terms like "reservation shopping" are difficult to unpack -- often, the hardest question is where to start.  So, we offer a few starting points for thinking critically about Feinstein's amendment.

December 6th

More on the Feinstein Amendment

Dec 6 2010
Despite the slew of criticism from folks in the know, a recent editorial in the Oakland (CA) Tribune praises the Feinstein amendment (see our earlier posts on why we think this amendment is unnecessary at best and ill-conceived at worst).  The editorial lauds the amendment as a much-needed constraint on "inappropriate casino plans" borne of the "now-common 'reservation shopping' in which small landless tribes look for prime urban property far from their original homelands for casinos."