Tribal Gaming Machines Targeted by Idaho Lawmakers

Publish: 13.02.2017

A legislation has been proposed and accepted to full hearing by the Idaho House State Affairs Committee which is taking aim at gambling machines in tribal casinos.

New Bill

The House State Affairs Chairman Tom Loertscher introduced a 2002 law alteration which is supposed to add a clause for banning slot machines and anything that looks or acts like those believing that Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is not in line with the state constitution, which prohibits slot machines across the state.

For its own part, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act permits tribal casinos to use the gaming machines and the new proposed bill is meant to bring all of the Idaho gaming ‘under the same umbrella’.

“It wouldn’t ban all of the machines, but it would affect the tribes, so that they couldn’t have slot machines. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Acts says they can do whatever the state is doing”, Loertscher said.

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes have refused to comment the proposed bill, but will make an official announcement in the forthcoming days.

Old Wounds

It is believed that Indian tribes are feeling confident such a proposition coming from the Idaho House State Affairs Committee would not be pushed through as the Federal law protects their interests.

Idaho Indians have already won the right to have casinos on their reservations when the state gave the nod to state lottery, as the Federal law states that tribes can offer Class III gaming is anyone else in a state also can. This basically means that the tribes can offer video gaming machines as those are the legal equivalent of the state lottery.

Having already won two of the same class cases in front on court, the Indians are confident the old fight of theirs will be won once again.