McCain Bill Hits Snag
As reported by the Arizona Republic: "An Indian gaming reform bill sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that would bar tribes from establishing casinos off of their reservations has hit a snag, with more than a half-dozen senators putting a "hold" on the legislation. "McCain's bill (SB 2078) was a response to the scandals involving convicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff's nefarious dealings with tribes. The proposed legislation addresses instances in which tribes work with developers to locate casinos off ancestral lands, where developers would otherwise be restricted from developing casinos. "The Senate Indian Affairs Committee, headed by McCain, already has approved the legislation. But other senators, some anonymously, are now seeking to block the bill, which would impose the strictest regulations on Indian gaming since Congress approved the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. That act opened the door to the flood of tribal casinos. "McCain needs to find 60 Senate votes to overcome the opposition. That would procedurally release the bill from the holds placed by senators trying to block it. ".Only four tribes nationally have off-reservation casinos. But the exemption would protect more than 44 off-reservation applications filed prior to the deadline, including three by Arizona-based Indian tribes."