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Indian Gaming Regulatory Act: Gaming on Newly Acquired Lands

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Abstract:

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) (P.L. 100-497) generally prohibits gaming on lands acquired for Indians in trust by the Secretary of the Interior (SOI) after the date of enactment of IGRA, October 17, 1988. The exceptions, however, may be significant because they raise the possibility of Indian gaming proposals for locations presently unconnected with an Indian tribe. Among the exceptions are land: (1) contiguous to or within reservation boundaries; (2) acquired after the SOI determines acquisition to be in the best interest of the tribe and not detrimental to the local community and the governor of the state concurs; (3) acquired for tribes that had no reservation on the date of enactment of IGRA; (4) acquired as part of a land claim settlement; (5) acquired as part of an initial reservation for a newly recognized tribe; and (6) acquired as part of the restoration of lands for a tribe restored to federal recognition. S. 1260, S. 2078, H.R. 2353,H.R. 3431, H.R. 4696, and H.R. 4893 include more stringent standards for gaming on newly acquired Indian lands. The reported versions of H.R. 4893 and S. 2078 would tighten the standards for tribes to secure exceptions to IGRA's prohibition on gaming on lands acquired after 1988. This report will be updated as warranted.