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CTBA Political eBrief Friday, April 8, 2016

“We use terms like self-determination and sovereignty in Indian Country and that's really what's important to a lot of tribes, including my own tribe. It's that ability to self-govern and to self-determine how we're going to handle our taxing and our business.” Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation tribal chairwoman Liana Onnen on the tribe’s autonomy in selling tobacco products without the state of Kansas’ intervention, in The Clay Center Dispatch --- “I would like to know what the (NIGC’s) position on these games are in this state — whether they are slot machines or something else — and why they are allowed to be played (in Alabama). There is some question in the statute about what is allowable under the law and what those games are classified as — slots or Class II gaming.” U.S. Attorney George Beck, who has requested clarification from Alabama’s governor and the NIGC on its position of electronic bingo games played in Alabama, in The Montgomery Advertiser --- “Operators know their customers and business concerns better than anyone. This is especially true in a new or emerging market. With that said, gaming regulators are experienced in creating a safe environment and level playing field. Operators and regulators working together is simply smart business. Everyone benefits.” Gabe Hunterton, CEO of the iTEAM Network on why gaming operators and regulators should work together on fantasy sports, in Legal Sports Report
Enterprise Rancheria Tribe To Break Ground On Yuba County Casino (CA – Casino Expansion)
Appeal Democrat (April 7, 2016) After more than a decade of roadblocks and lawsuits, Enterprise Rancheria will break ground Friday morning on the Fire Mountain Casino on Forty Mile Road in Yuba County. Yuba County and Marysville will immediately receive benefits from the project.
From FBI To San Manuel Security: New Chief Security Officer (CA – Tribal Leadership)
Highland Community News (April 7, 2016) Responsive to the growth of its Tribal enterprises, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians announced March 31, that former FBI assistant director for counterterrorism and former vice president of corporate security at Target Corporation Ralph Boelter has accepted the position of chief security and risk officer.
Dam Removal Deal Signed By Top Federal, State Officials (CA – Environmental Action)
Times Standard News (April 6, 2016) It was déjà vu for what could be the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. The governors of California and Oregon stood side-by-side with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to sign their commitment to remove four hydroelectric dams from the 236-mile Klamath River.
Tribal Groups Want Senate To Take Up Anti-NLRB Bill (DC – Tribal Politics)
Politico (April 7, 2016) More than 100 Native American groups asked the Senate Tuesday to vote on a bill that would prohibit the NLRB from regulating many Indian gaming casinos. The Coalition for Tribal Sovereignty urged Senate leaders to take up S. 248, which would clarify that the board lacks jurisdiction over enterprises owned by Native American governments.
Court: Native American Church Not Excused From Cannabis Laws (HI – Tribal Enterprise)
ABC News (April 6, 2016) A federal court has ruled that a church for Native Americans in Hawaii should not be excused from federal marijuana laws despite the group's claim that ingesting cannabis is part of their sacred sacrament.
Feds Indict Trio For ‘Payday Lending’ Fraud (PA – Payday Lending)
Chadds Ford Business Association (April 7, 2016) A far-reaching, multi-million-dollar scheme to defraud borrowers was announced on Thursday, April 7, by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Charles M. Hallinan, 75, of Villanova, and Wheeler K. Neff, 67, of Wilmington, were indicted on two counts of conspiracy to violate the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) relating to “payday lending” businesses.
US Attorney's Gambling Inquiry Moves On To Indians (AL – Court Cases)
Montgomery Advertiser (April 8, 2016) The U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Alabama plans to ask the National Indian Gaming Commission for clarification its position of electronic bingo games being played in Alabama. U.S. Attorney George Beck requested, and received, clarification from Alabama’s governor and attorney general on the games – they both said state court rulings make it clear the games are illegal in Alabama – and that leaves Beck with one big question.
District Court Judge Wants Oklahoma, Iowa Tribe To Settle Online Gaming Dispute (OK – Online Gaming)
NPR Oklahoma (April 7, 2016) The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma is a step closer to launching its internet gambling site. Tribal representatives met with a judge Tuesday as part of their efforts to open PokerTribe.com.
2 Tribes, State Of Kansas Enter Into Cigarette-Sale Compacts (KA – State Compacts)
The Clay Center Dispatch (April 7, 2016) A sign advertising "discount smokes" outside of The Nation Station convenience store on a reservation in northeast Kansas draws Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation members and visitors looking for cheap cigarettes. Inside is a wall lined with Native American-manufactured cigarettes such as Seneca, the store's best-selling brand at $3.77 per pack.
Connecticut Finance Committee: Create Tax On Fantasy Sports (CT – Fantasy Sports)
Connecticut Post (April 8, 2016) The General Assembly’s tax-writing committee would create a new surcharge on fantasy-sports companies, under a budget bill aligned with the spending approved Wednesday in another legislative panel. Rep. Jeff Berger, D-Waterbury, co-chairman of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, said before the late-morning meeting that he expects higher revenues than expected to come in as income taxes are filed this week.
Opinion: Why Gaming Operators And Regulators Must Work Together On Fantasy Sports (US – Fantasy Sports)
Legal Sports Report (April 7, 2016) Growth, customer acquisition and fallout. If you had to describe the daily fantasy sports industry in 2015, those would be the defining factors. (Well, that and $200 million+ spend on football season advertising).