November 18, 2019

McCain criticizes off-reservation casinos

WASHINGTON – Congress never intended for Indians to build Nevada-style casinos away from their reservations, and tribes risk a backlash by pursuing the trend, Sen. John McCain said Tuesday.

“None of us ever anticipated that there would be casinos in the Catskills,” McCain, chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, told a tribal leader from New York who’s pursuing such a project.

“We’re seeing casinos in downtown Oakland and downtown Denver. … If we have enough off-reservation casinos set up in America we’re going to see a backlash against Indian gaming, because that was not the intent of the law,” said McCain, R-Ariz.

Under the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, off-reservation gambling is allowed only under a narrow set of exceptions, but tribes are increasingly pursuing those options or finding other ways.

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