Casino opponents fear tribal casinos are expanding beyond Indian properties.
While US president Barack Obama wants Congress to change current laws in order to allow tribes to get new trust land, casino opponents believe tribal gambling has become too big and needs to be brought to a halt.
Current American gambling laws are very permissive with tribal casino operators. Indian tribes now have 460 gambling venues in 28 US states, generating an annual $27 billion in revenues. California alone has 70 tribal casinos and some politicians think enough is enough.
As nine tribes are planning to open off-reservation casinos in California, Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Oregon and Washington, democratic senator Dianne Feinstein commented: “My concern is that California tribes – some of them – are no longer content with casinos on Indian lands”. Meanwhile, several Indian tribes are also considering opening online casinos in America.
Indian tribes have Obama’s support
According to tribal chairman Bill Iyall, Washington’s Cowlitz Tribe will own 152 acres of new land by spring and will open a new casino by 2015.
Iyall believes president Obama’s support is enough to convince government officials to make current laws work in their favor. “The Obama administration is there to follow the rules as they’re set out. And the rules are defined to help tribes because tribes are a trust ward,” he said.
“We are a ward of the federal government, and we’re their trustee, and they’re supposed to take care of us.”