Wolf wants curbs on Indian casinos

June 25, 2001 10:20 PM
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Rep. Frank Wolf of Virginia, along with Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Rep. Bob Riley of Alabama, want to amend the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to require that states approve new casinos on Indian lands.

Their bill, introduced last week, also would create commissions to advise Congress on national Indian policy and set standards for Indian casinos.

The spread of tribal casino gaming has sparked a long-running battle between tribal sovereignty claims and the states’ right to set public policy. Currently, 196 federally recognized tribes run gambling operations in 29 states, taking in $9.6 billion tax-free for tribal governments.

The bill joins a recent call by Arizona Sen. John McCain for congressional hearings to examine whether casino profits are really benefiting tribal governments.

McCain is a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Tribal governments oppose the move.