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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ind. Gov't. - "Tribe chairman says new Indiana law violates U.S. law"

That is the headline to this long AP story published May 14th in the South Bend Tribune. Some quotes:

SOUTH BEND — The chairman for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians who are seeking to build a casino in South Bend said Wednesday a new law approved by the General Assembly prevents Gov. Mike Pence from negotiating in good faith with the tribe on a compact, voiding the need for such an agreement.

Tribal Chairman John Warren said the law specifying the process for the state to enter into a compact violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act because it includes stipulations on what the compact must include.

"They just passed legislation that tied the governor's hands in negotiating with us in good faith and everything they had in their bill is against federal law. So we don't have to negotiate with them to open," he said. * * *

The tribe's proposal to build a tribal village, casino, 500-room hotel and medical facility is under review by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. The tribe already runs three casinos in Michigan.

A long May 1st Tribune story, by Jeff Parrott, begins:

As the Indiana General Assembly wrapped up its 2015 session Wednesday, it took two parting shots at the Pokagon Band's plans to build a casino in South Bend.

Tacked on to a gambling bill that would allow riverboat casinos to be land-based, and let an Anderson horse track add casino gambling, was a last-minute amendment requiring any gaming compact the governor reaches with an Indian tribe also to require approval by the Legislature.

The House and Senate also passed a joint resolution, on voice vote, asking Congress to change federal law to prohibit Indian tribes from opening casinos in the state. South Bend's delegation opposed the language.

"It's federal law that the governor can negotiate it," said state Rep. B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend. "To have the General Assembly hold hearings on it is just delaying the process. Obviously there are gaming interests that don't want the competition."

The bill, HEA 1540, became law without the Governor's signature.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 14, 2015 09:46 AM
Posted to Indiana Government