An obscure federal Indian Gaming bill to watch?

by , Mar 2, 2011 | 7:32 pm

The nuances and import of this story are probably a little beyond my ken — involving more factors than just online gaming and Indian poker lands … but it’s not a tough leap to see it as potentially relevant as the US continues to move in this period of “pre-regulation” we seem to be in at the federal level.

Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is pushing revisions to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act — the first such changes in 22 years — which would make it harder for Native American tribes with gaming licenses to acquire new land on which to build casinos.

Does Feinsiten have a sincere interest in limiting various Tribes’ expansions? Or could this be part of a multi-level political negotiation connected to future online poker and gambling bills currently being haggled over in Washington DC? It’s just a hypothesis at this point — no real information on my end — but it seems likely that Feinstein’s legislation could become a bargaining chip for Harry Reid should it gather momentum. Just the threat of such restrictions, you would think, limits the power of Native Americans as they lobby to make sure they factor into the 21st Century gambling equation.

3 Comments to “An obscure federal Indian Gaming bill to watch?”

  1. TOCurmudgeon

    FYI: Sen. Feinstein is firmly anti internet gaming, including poker. Her office has stopped replying to my steady stream of PPA authored email. So, I suspect it unlikely that she has authored a bill that might aid online poker in any way.

  2. Dan Michalski

    c’mon dude, second level thinking … maybe third. The indians are gonna be opposed to Feinstein’s bill. They want in on Harry Reid’s online gaming bill … but they push so hard! Harry Reid says he can get Feinstein to back off on the push for her bill if they pull back and don’t ask for so much in his bill … just pulling that outta my ass … but it’s a bargaining chip.

    no? maybe?

    something like that.

  3. Vin Narayanan

    There are serious tribe politics going on here. Basically, a few East Coast tribes have been trying to build casinos on land they’ve acquired closer to population centers because the land they have now won’t support and casino and they have a historical claim to the new land. But tribes that have already built casinos on out of the way plots of land, because that’s what they own, don’t want tribes to be able acquire land close to populations centers and build casinos there because then there is no reason to head to the boonies to gamble. So there’s a lot jockeying for position there. Tribes are a major political force in California, so Feinstein is most likely acting at their behest.