From: alra@governance.net
Subject: A Tribal Casino Could Be Coming To Your Neighborhood.

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
Alliance Against Reservation Shopping
PO Box 400 - Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 - FAX: 360-687-2973
Email: alra@pacifier.com or alra@governance.net
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003

A Tribal Casino Could Be Coming To Your Neighborhood.  

From American Land Rights and the Alliance Against Reservation Shopping.

Urgent Action Required

Call your Representative and Senators today!

Urge a three-year moratorium on new tribal reservations for casinos.

**** See Action Items Below.

-----The Problem:  

New tribal casino proposals are popping up like jackrabbits.  Reservation shopping by Indian tribes and their financial backers is spreading like a wildfire across the nation.  They’re traveling across state lines and jumping from place to place within states into communities that most of the time don’t want them.  

It’s surprising that tribes rarely want to establish the new casinos on existing Indian reservations.  Over 200 new tribal casinos are in the pipeline, most on newly acquired lands near urban centers and transportation corridors.  

Your local communities have virtually no say over whether you will have a tribal casino next door or not.  If you are near, but not in the proposed casino community, you lose out entirely.  Tribal money and lobbyists usually persuade the host community to support the casino, even if residents oppose the casino.   

Federal law as presently written by Congress has put the tribes in a position where they can ignore local law, taxes, land use plans and community wishes.   

The reason this is happening is that some Indian tribes want to put new gambling casinos wherever they think they can make huge amounts of money.  Since they can avoid local laws by creating new casinos on reservations, they’re trying to create new Indian Reservations in many locations.  These new tribal casinos and reservations can severely damage local communities. 

It appears the new definition of “tribal sacred ground” is, “does the land have a freeway with an off ramp close to a population center.”

The tribal gaming industry has already passed Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  Over $19 billion per year.

-----The Solution:

Congress should immediately pass a three-year moratorium on new tribal casinos and gaming facilities as part of its lobbying reform legislation now under consideration.   It is the gold rush for new tribal reservation shopping casinos that is creating some of the lobbying problems now confronting Congress. 

The American Land Rights Association has organized a new coalition to oppose reservation shopping throughout the United States.   

It’s called the Alliance Against Reservation Shopping (AARS).  We’ll keep you informed about action in Congress and what you can do to make a difference. 

You can help immediately by signing up for the AARS reservation shopping       e-mail list.  We’ll also be posting the addresses of all known groups opposing tribal casino reservation shopping to a section of our website at www.landrights.org.  

We’re setting up a new website devoted to just reservation shopping.  Please send the name, address, phone, fax and e-mail address as well as the name of a key contact for any organization you believe opposes reservation shopping.  Please also make sure you tell us if you are concerned about the spread of new tribal casinos.   Just send an e-mail to alra@pacifier.com with Reservation Shopping in the subject line.  

Our purpose will be to educate the public and communities about the danger of placing new Indian Reservations and tribal casinos virtually anywhere there is any kind of a tourist destination or population center.

Hundreds of Indian tribes are lining up to set up new casinos.  In most cases, these would dramatically change the local community, damage existing businesses and radically impact the local culture.  

AARS will network and cooperate with many local groups already trying to protect their communities from the imposition of new tribal casinos.  AARS and American Land Rights will try to help local groups with our tools and 33 years of experience.  Our only interest is to facilitate cooperation and teamwork among existing and newly forming groups.  We try to encourage local grassroots groups.   Many of them keep us informed now about their activities and we do the same. 

Congressman Richard Pombo (R-CA) has a discussion draft of a new bill to change the law so that the Bureau of Indian Affairs must take more care in allowing the siting of new tribal casinos.  It would make tribes go through a series of hoops to qualify for reservation status and allow communities to have a say about whether they want a tribal reservation casino or not.  The state legislature would be able to vote regarding the future of any new tribal casino.  

As of now, local communities have virtually no say in an action that would dramatically change their future.  We will be posting a copy of this discussion draft at www.landrights.org.    This bill, as well as the McCain bill below, will need more refinement and changes to do the job, but they are a good start.  

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has introduced S 2078, a bill to also create tighter requirements for Indian tribes to meet before being allowed to plunk down a new tribal casino in the middle of a community.  This bill will also be posted to www.landrights.org.  

Yet, just because these bills have been introduced doesn’t mean they will pass.  Developers and tribes looking for new casinos have hired some of the highest priced lobbyists in Washington to kill these bills.   Only you as voters have the power to stop these lobbyists.

*****Action Items:

-----1.  Help us help you.  Get on the e-mail list of the Alliance Against Reservation Shopping.  Just your name, e-mail, fax and address, and we’ll put you on the list and keep you informed about Congressional and Administration actions.  

E-mail it to:  alra@pacifier.com and put Reservation Shopping in the subject line.   There is no cost and you can remove yourself from the list at any time.  You have complete control.

-----2.  Call, fax or e-mail your Congressman to urge him or her to support a three-year moratorium on new tribal gaming facilities and casinos as part of lobbying reform.  Ask that he or she oppose reservation shopping in your area and support House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) in his effort to re-write the law to protect local communities.  All Congressmen may be called at (202) 225-3121.

-----3.  Call, fax or e-mail both your Senators to urge them to support a three-year moratorium on new tribal casinos and gaming facilities now.  Also ask them to oppose reservation shopping in your area and support Senator McCain in his effort to clean up this mess.  All Senators may be called at (202) 224-3121.

-----4.  Call, fax or e-mail Rep. Richard Pombo’s office to urge him to move his reservation shopping bill as soon as possible and include a three-year moratorium.   Call (202) 225-2761.  Fax: (202) 225-5929.  E-mail:  resources.committee@mail.house.gov

-----5.  Call Senator John McCain’s office to urge his staff to add the three-year moratorium to any lobbying reform legislation and get his reservation shopping bill passed in the Senate.  The bill number is S 2078.  Call (202) 224-2251.  Fax: (202) 224-5429.  E-mail:  John_mccain@mccain.senate.gov

Senator McCain has scheduled a hearing on S 2078 before his committee on Wednesday, February 1, 2006.  American Land Rights has been invited to testify.

-----The massive increase in converting private lands into tax exempt tribal casino reservations in the middle of communities has been substantially empowered by a recent decision by the National Indian Gaming Commission which essentially says that if a tribal member ever stepped on or walked by a parcel of land, it is eligible for designation as a restored lands Indian Reservation.

-----There are almost no checks and balances in the system to protect local communities from new tribal casinos.  The NIGC has no hearing process, no public involvement process, fails to follow the Memorandum of Understanding they have with the Interior Department and is generally anti-local community.  The NIGC is out of control and must be reigned in. 

Why should you oppose a tribal reservation shopping casino in your area?  This is just a starter list:

-----Communities have almost no say whether or not they get a tribal casino dumped in the middle of their community.

-----There will be a dramatic increase in traffic and congestion.  Commuter times will go up.

-----Tribal casinos are tax-exempt.  Closures and lost tax revenue caused by a tribal casino often bring failure to small businesses like grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and many others.  

-----Tribal casinos often attract many other unwanted types of casino satellite businesses not good for kids.

-----Tax-exempt tribal casinos suck up disposable income causing losses to restaurants, theaters, and other kinds of entertainment businesses.  When tourists come to a tribal casino, they stay there.  They do not go out into the community.  Their money often does not circulate. 

-----Because many of these tribal casinos are financed by out of state or out of the area investors, the money often leaves your local community.  These investors are often other Indian tribes with huge casinos looking to expand their business.  Some investors are even from foreign countries so any benefits flow outside America.  Tribal casinos usually do not give.  They take from the community.

-----Studies show crime increases as high as 500% in some tribal casino area communities.

-----History indicates there will likely be illicit drug use and sales in surrounding areas.

-----There will likely be an increase in alcohol related automobile accidents and DUIs.

-----New tribal casinos often cause increased bankruptcies and foreclosures.

-----There is often a substantial increase in area gambling and substance addiction issues.

-----Increasing alcoholism in youth exposed to tribal casinos and gambling is a big problem.

-----Tribal casinos sited in a rural agriculture environment close to a population center often cause light, air and noise pollution.

------Tribal casinos are often responsible for increased domestic violence, divorce and familial neglect.

-----Tribal casinos don’t have to pay their fair share of local taxes to support infrastructure.  Some do, but many don’t.  They are not required to.

-----Tribal casinos often bring a huge increase in low to moderate wage jobs and stretch the local schools to the breaking point without paying their fair share. 

-----Tribal casinos often cause local schools to have to teach in many foreign languages.  On one case 23 different languages must be dealt with. 

-----Loss of disposable income in the local community has negative impacts.   

-----These tribal casinos often start out small and expand massively.  Most people don’t know that the world’s largest casinos are in rural towns in Connecticut between Boston and New York.   The Cowlitz Tribe wants to build the fifth largest casino in America just north of Portland, Oregon between two small towns.   Only the MGM Grand would be larger in Las Vegas.  

This is your opportunity to make a difference.  

Please make your calls today.       

Please forward this message as widely as possible.

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