Obama Administration expands Tribal Gambling

Casino Watch Focus reported that the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows for off-reservation casinos.  In January of 2008 the U.S. Dept of Interior denied a claim to build a casino 293 miles away from the reservation explaining the casino was too far to be of benefit to tribal members. Then, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) passed a rule that the casino must be within 25 miles of a reservation headquarters, but it did allow for a few exceptions.  Now, The Miami Herald is reporting that the Obama administration has removed the rule:

The Obama administration announced Tuesday it has rescinded a rule that blocked Indian tribes from building casinos far from their reservations, reviving hopes among local officials for casino gambling in the Catskills.

The change overturns the so-called commutability rule, created in 2008 by then-Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. According to the rule, a casino beyond reasonable commuting distance from a tribe’s reservation was damaging to life on the reservation because its residents would move to follow the new jobs.

This rule change could dramatically expand casino gambling.  In 2008 from January to July, 10 tribal casino applications were rejected alone. For more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION

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