Online Casino Legislation Creates Concerns for American Indian Tribes

04/14/2012
By Pamela PattersonGoogle

 

Casino operators representing American Indian tribes expressed to lawmakers and companies that they will not lend support to any new legislation involving online casino games unless they know the specifics of how tribes will be affected. With legislation on casino games pending across the US, there are significant concerns related to tribal sovereignty and business.

 

Speaking at the iGaming North America conference, Chairwoman Leslie Lohse of the California Tribal Business Alliance stated that it is important to examine the cultural and economic implications of casino games online and casino bonuses. She posed the question, "What's going to satisfy us? That we really sit down and hammer out the nuts and bolts of this. Really look at the impacts and not rush to the gold."

 

Lohse’s statements underscore the various divisions that exist between advocates of online casino games and their detractors. Indian tribes and others involved in the usa online casino business, including equipment manufacturers and state lotteries, want to be included in any legislation related to gaming.

 

Casino City, a trade publication, recently put revenue at casinos owned by American Indian tribes at $26.7 billion in 2010. In 2009 it was at $26.4 billion.

 

Sheila Morago, executive director of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association stated,

"When you take one federal bill and sort of overlay it over 29 state compacts, you're kind of wondering how is this going to work. We can all agree that nobody wants to open up those state compacts."

 

Many top rated online casino and land based casino operators have expressed the desire for federal laws that would create one national framework for online gaming. It would be up to states to decide their position.

 

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