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August 1, 2011 Print

McCain Introduces Bill to Stop Tribes from Exploiting Gambling Law

by CitizenLink Team

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wants to stop the apparent abuse of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Indian tribes have been creating “splinter tribes” and taking over land outside the reservations to build casinos — land that becomes untouchable by state and local laws.

Butch Cranford, vice chair of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance, said that states like Arizona are feeling the repercussions, and that it’s a proven fact that when new casinos sprout up, problems for communities and families follow.

“There is no constitutional authority,” Cranford said, “for the U.S. Congress or the Executive branch or any agency of the federal government to take a state’s land into trust.”

Instead of the McCain bill, Cranford says what is really needed is to revise the Gaming Act itself. However, he says legislators are reluctant to do that, because of the money these tribes generate.

“There’s just not the political will to go do it.”

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