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Gambling and the Law: Status of Gaming Enabling Laws17 October 1999
The following are American jurisdictions having recent activity concerning legal gambling. States and territories with legal gaming devices are marked with an asterisk: *; while states allowing, by law or compact, at least one casino (defined as having both banking card games and slot-like machines) are marked with an exclamation point: !, even if the casino is not yet open.
UNITED STATES - On April 12, 1999, Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt issued proposed regulations, giving himself the power to approve tribal casinos over a state's objections. Florida and Alabama immediately filed suit. Conflicting bills were introduced in Congress -- to explicitly give or to take away Babbitt's power -- but none have passed both houses. In June, the National Gambling Impact Study Commission filed its final report, filled with generalities and inaccuracies – it has already been discounted. Sen. Jon Kyl's Internet Gambling Prohibition Act is pending before the Senate, without last year's provision making betting a crime. In June 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the federal laws against casino broadcast commercials were unconstitutional, at least in states which have casino gaming, and maybe in all states. The Justice Department announced it would no longer enforce these laws anywhere.
ALABAMA - The Poarch Band of Creek Indians sued the state, when the Governor refused to negotiate for casinos. The 11th Circuit ruled: 1) a state could not be sued without its consent; but, 2) then the Secretary of the Interior would make the gaming regulations. In the Seminole case, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the first, and refused to look at the second, leaving tribes and states in limbo. Incumbent Gov. Fob James Jr. (R) opposed a state lottery and lost reelection to Don Siegelman (D) in Nov. 1998. A constitutional amendment to allow a state lottery will pass this year or next. The state's four dog tracks (going broke) will not get video poker machines: the House voted in favor, 49-48, but the Senate killed the most recent proposal after two days of filibuster.
ALASKA - Casinos are prohibited by state law; yet, the Governor was negotiating to allow the Klawock band of Tlingit Indians to open a full casino on remote Prince of Wales Island.
!*ARIZONA - Indian tribes operate casinos with slots year-round, because charities may have occasional casino nights with slot machines. Former Gov. Symington signed compacts with 16 tribes, but, misreading the federal Ninth Circuit's opinion in Rumsey, refused to sign any more. In Nov. 1996, voters approved the "Fairness Initiative," 64% to 36%, requiring the state to negotiate compacts with the five tribes that had been left out -- the first time in American history a state voted to allow new high-stakes casinos in the face of active opposition. See MICHIGAN. The 17 compacts begin to expire in 2003. The House of Representative approved raising the gambling age from 18 to 21; the measure is pending in the Senate.
ARKANSAS - Competing constitutional amendments gathered enough signatures to be on the Nov. 1996 ballot. But the state Supreme Court found all but one misleading. The remaining initiative to legalize casinos lost by a landslide, due in part to the state's active religious organizations and opposition from Mississippi's casinos. Signatures are now being gathered for a new initiative, approved by the Attorney General, which would allow casinos in six counties. Even if it makes the November 2000 election, the state's churches will once again be victorious.
!* CALIFORNIA - In Aug. 1999, the state Supreme Court, quoting my 1986 book, Gambling and the Law, ruled Prop. 5 violated the state Constitution's ban on Nevada- and New Jersey-style casinos. A last-minute deal in September shows the political power of gaming tribes, who contribute millions of dollars to politicians, and the naivete of the governor and legislators, who know nothing about gambling. If voters approve in March 2000, tribes will have a monopoly on full casinos written into the Constitution. They will immediately be able to double their present 21,000 slot machines throughout the state. Individual tribes will have up to 2,000 slots, creating some of the largest casinos in the world. Although the compacts are supposedly for 20 years, tribes can renegotiate for even more slots after only three years. Given their constitutional rights and political power, California tribes will become the number one casino market in the country. To make the deal, Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature gave tracks the right to take phone wagers (and undoubtedly Internet bets) and gave card clubs blackjack and revolving bank games. Meanwhile, approximately 42 Indian casinos stay open. Legislation created a gaming control board in 1997, to regulate the state's 153 card clubs, but Gov. Davis has still not made his appointments.
!*COLORADO - Five dollar maximum blackjack, poker and slot machines are in casinos in three mountain towns and on two Indian reservations. Widespread gray market video gaming devices pay off, when police aren't around. In 1994, voters overwhelmingly rejected adding new towns and slot machines in every airport. In 1996, voters again rejected expansion, voting against adding a fourth town.
!*CONNECTICUT - Then-Gov. Weicker signed compacts giving an oligopoly on slots to two tribes, for 25% of net slot win or $80 million, each, whichever is greater. So far, the state has received $824,793,486. The compacts lack any limits, so Foxwoods has become the largest, most profitable casino in the world; the 315,310 square-foot casino has 370 table games, keno, poker tables, race book, high-stakes bingo and 5,700 slot machines. The two Indian casinos will win more than $1.5 billion this year, making them the third largest casino market in the U.S.
*DELAWARE - A bill became law in 1994, without the Governor's signature, allowing the state's three racetracks to have up to 1,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs) each. The VLTs opened over the 1996 New Year's Eve weekend. Three-quarters of the Lottery's revenue now comes from VLTs. The Legislature keeps raising the number of permitted machines: Dover Downs will be the first to reach the state limit of 2,000; Delaware Park has 1,198; Harrington (Midway) 702; current statewide total of 3,468.
FLORIDA - See UNITED STATES and ALABAMA. The Seminoles operate four casinos with slots, without compacts or regulations, the U.S. Attorney in Tampa has sued to close down the slots. A $17 million casino initiative lost big in 1994. Proponents have temporarily given up gathering signatures for another attempt. However, powerful legislators want a constitutional amendment on the ballot that, if approved, would give voters in large counties the right to vote on legalizing casinos. In March 1999, the House Regulated Services Committee approved, 8-0, electronic slots at tracks and jai-alai frontons. But claims that this would open the door to full casinos killed the proposal before it got to the floor. At least 22 casino ships operate cruises-to-nowhere out of Florida's ports. A recent decision involving South Carolina laws could allow the state or even local governments to put the ships out of business.
GEORGIA - Three gaming ships sail into international waters (three miles out) for day-trips-to-nowhere. Georgia's State Lottery is a model for the rest of the country. The state also has charity bingo and raffles.
HAWAII - All gambling is outlawed, but, more than 30 bills have been introduced in the state Legislature to legalize gambling. A proposal for the state's employee retirement system and Office of Hawaiian Affairs to own a casino in Las Vegas aroused strong opposition.
IDAHO - The state Constitution was amended in 1992, to specifically prohibit casinos, with one target in mind: Indian casinos. But Gov. Dirk Kempthorne signed a compact with the Shoshone-Bannock tribe and courts will decide whether gaming machines will be allowed. The Kootenai, Coeur d'Alene and Nez Perce are protesting, since they did agree to the compact. Some tribes are operating gaming devices anyway, without compacts. The Coeur d'Alenes, after losing court battles, closed their Internet lottery.
!*ILLINOIS - The Illinois Legislature has eliminated the requirement that riverboat casinos actually cruise. Can boats-in-a-moat be far behind? Gov. George Ryan signed a bill allowing one boat-in-a-moat casino for Cook County. Rosemont has been chosen, a short drive from O'Hare Airport. The state's troubled racing industry will get 15% of the boat's adjusted gross revenue. Under a 1990 constitutional amendment, the Legislature authorized up to ten riverboat casinos, but not in Cook County or on Lake Michigan (Chicago). Currently, there are only nine riverboats and none have the maximum allowed 1,200 gaming positions. There is constant political pressure to expand, especially with 3,500 unused but already allowed gaming positions.
!*INDIANA - In 1995, the state Supreme Court reversed a trial court and held the riverboat casino law constitutional. Heavily taxed, nine now sail, with a tenth set for next year. The Legislature authorized 11, but the federal government will not allow a boat on Patoka Lake. The Ohio River four are looking with fear at developments in Kentucky. Riverboat admission charges help subsidize the state's horse racing industry. The Pokagon band of Potawatomi Indians is trying to open a land-based casino in north-central Indiana. A study released in 1999 found gambling is the state's fifth largest source of revenue. The Senate voted to allow candidates to accept contributions from casino owners, but the House of Representatives killed it by a 2-1 vote.
!*IOWA - Slots are legal at one horse and two dog racetracks, in three Indian casinos and on nine riverboat casinos, with a tenth and eleventh about to open -- gaming is the state's fourth largest source of income. The Racing and Gaming Commission passed regulations prohibiting casinos from expanding, banning credit card cash advances and refusing to issue new licenses. New Gov. Tom Vilsack fired most of the Commissioners for going beyond the authority delegated them by the Legislature. But the Senate and House could not agree on what changes should be made, so the governor is letting the regulations stand. Suit has been filed to keep the ATMs. The Senate killed a proposal for a five-year moratorium, which would have been like money from heaven for existing operators.
!* KANSAS - In a highly questionable move, the U.S. Dept. of Interior is moving ahead with approval of a casino for the Miami Tribe, despite vocal opposition from Gov. Bill Graves. The state has filed suit. Gov. Graves signed and the Legislature approved casino compacts with four other tribes. Although the compacts were reported to exclude electronic gaming devices, tribal casinos have slots and video poker machines, as well as table games. In 1997, Congress prohibited the Wyandotte Tribe from using historic cemetery lands for gambling; now they want to take Woodlands racetrack into trust, for a casino. In Feb. 1999, a bill was introduced to let the State Lottery operate slots at dog and horse tracks; a similar proposal passed the House in 1996, but died in the Senate. The governor seems open to the idea, but it probably will fail in the Senate.
KENTUCKY - Gov. Paul Patton has proposed, but not endorsed, that the state own, but not operate, up to 14 small-scale casinos, on a local-option basis. When the Legislature reconvenes in January, it will also consider VLTs and casino gaming at racetracks. The state has commissioned a $233,650 independent study of the social and economic impact of expanding gambling. The state's powerful racing industry is in trouble, due to competition from neighboring states' riverboat casinos. But, a constitutional amendment requires three-fifths of both houses of the Legislative and then a statewide referendum; opposition from churches is growing.
!*LOUISIANA - The Legislature eliminated "phantom cruises" (raising gangplanks on boats that don't move) overruling the Gaming Control Board. Gov. Mike Foster let the bill become law without his signature. More than 25 million visitors lost $1.36 billion on 13 riverboat casinos in fiscal 1998-99. The Gaming Board will soon award the 15th and final riverboat license. No numbers on the three tribal casinos (which some Senators want to tax) and the one land-based (and bankrupt) casino in New Orleans. In questionable local elections in Nov. 1996, 31 parishes voted to keep video poker machines, but 33 parishes voted them out. The problem: A state law prohibiting the video poker industry from pooling resources by forming PACs was declared unconstitutional only 17 days before the vote. So far, state and federal courts have upheld the results, and more than 4,800 gaming devices were shut down, leaving about 15,000. Truck stops now are limited to 50 machines, and they have to sell gasoline!
MAINE - The federal court ruled the Maine Land Settlement Act preempts IGRA, so, the state will not be forced to negotiate for Indian casinos. Charities can offer blackjack.
MARYLAND - Tracks gave up their drive for slots, for $10 million in increased purses. A statute allows phone wagers and tracks want implementing regulations; the real goal: Internet betting. Gov. Parris Glendening appointed a task force, which voted unanimously against casinos. He then won re-election in 1998, strongly anti-gaming. There is thus no chance that charities will regain the right to run casino games & slots, nor that riverboat and land-based casino bills will become law.
MASSACHUSETTS - Top lawmakers, led by newly elected Atty. Gen. Thomas Reilly, have abruptly turned against casinos. Gov. Paul Cellucci now says he will negotiate only Class II gaming with the Wampanoag Indians. Four pending casino bills thus will fail. The state's horse and dog tracks need slots to survive, but they will not get them this session. A deal between then-Gov. Weld and the tribe for a casino in New Bedford, rather than on their inaccessible reservation, was killed by the Legislature in 1997. A bill filed in the General Court would end casino cruises to nowhere sailing out of Gloucester.
!*MICHIGAN - On July 29, 1999, Detroit became the largest city in the U.S. to have a casino. MGM Grand's $235 million temporary facility has 75,000 square feet of gaming, with 2,300 slots and 80 table games. It will compete with the state's 11 Indian casinos -- Gov. John Engler negotiated new compacts with most tribes in 1998 -- and two extremely profitable casinos in Windsor, Canada, across the river. But it will be difficult to know how much money it makes: the state says its revenue laws make it a felony to release such information. In Nov. 1996, voters approved three casinos for Detroit, despite the strong opposition of Gov. Engler – the first time in American history that citizens of a state voted to allow new high-stakes commercial casinos in the face of active opposition. The state's racetracks now say they need slot machines to survive. Charities are also asking for help: with bingo revenue down 26% in six years, the Legislature approved progressive jackpots. The House Gaming and Casino Oversight Committee approved changing the limits on "Millionaire Parties," casino nights, from a $2,000 prize limit to total chip sales of $15,000.
!*MINNESOTA - Seventeen Indian casinos (more than in Atlantic City) with slots. A House Committee approved a bill for a constitutional amendment for the 2000 ballot, to allow dice games in bars and a State Lottery-run casino with blackjack and slots at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, in direct competition with Mystic Lake Casino. But, it failed, 7-7, in a Senate Committee. So Gov. Jesse Ventura and the Legislature will let the track have a 50-table card room, maximum opening bets $15, raises $30.
!*MISSISSIPPI - State law allows an unlimited number of dockside and riverboat casinos; there are now 30. Mississippi has become the third largest (non-Indian) casino state, with gambling revenues of $2.17 billion in 1998, 81% from 35,876 slot machines. In Nov. 1996, voters in DeSoto County, between Tunica and Memphis, again turned down casinos. In May 1999, a court threw out the third attempt by casino opponents, the American Family Association and Elizabeth Stoner, to ban gaming by initiative.
!*MISSOURI - It has taken four elections to make casinos legal. In early 1994, the state Supreme Court nearly destroyed the state's new riverboat casino industry by limiting the boats to games with some skill. The Nov. 1994 election amended the state Constitution to allow slot machines, keno, bingo and other games of pure chance. The Court then outlawed boats-in-a-moat -- Station Casino agreed to pay a $75,000 fine for using city tap water for its "river." The voters amended their constitution once again, to make boats-in-a-moat legal. A $500 limit on gambling losses remains, despite repeated attempts to raise it. Gov. Mel Carnahan gave the $500 limit as his reason for vetoing a "Chuck E. Cheese" bill, which would have allowed amusement games with noncash prizes up to $250. The Gaming Commission, with approval of a joint committee of the Legislature, is experimenting with eliminating "phantom cruises," since no casino is required to actually leave a dock. A bill in Congress would bar Indian casinos from Branson.
*MONTANA - More than 16,000 video gaming machines, in more than 1,600 premises. Interestingly, more video keno than video poker. Up to 20 devices per location; maximum wager - $2; payout - $800. Tribes have done better: Five tribes have compacts, allowing each of them to have 100 video gambling machines with $1,000 payouts, but no banking card games; two other tribes have not signed. State law allows a dozen forms of gambling, including card clubs, sports pools, Calcutta pools and fantasy sports leagues.
NEBRASKA - The U.S. Dept. of Interior is going ahead with its highly questionable approval of tribal casinos, in the face of direct opposition from the state. Tribes would like to negotiate for full casinos, but the Santee Sioux's lawsuit against the state was dismissed following Seminole. The tribe opened a casino anyway. A U.S. district judge ordered the Tribe to pay a $3,000 fine (never paid) for each day it keeps its northeast casino open after Feb. 2, 1999, and even commented that he might start imprisoning tribal leaders if his ruling is not taken seriously. Slot machine bills are under consideration in the state Legislature. Casino initiatives did not make the Nov. 1996 ballot, because many signatures were from people who were dead.
!*NEVADA - In fiscal 1999, casinos won $8.5 billion, $5.5 billion (64.7%) from slot machines. There are 203,000 slots in the state; most are in casinos. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted 3-2 to limit new "restricted licenses" (15 slots machines maximum) to convenience stores, supermarkets, drugstores and bars starting Feb. 1, 2000. A movement to raise the gross gaming tax from 6.25%, the lowest in the country, to 8.25%, died in the Legislature, but state Sen. Joe Neal is still trying to get it on the ballot.
NEW HAMPSHIRE - A key legislative committee rejected Gov. Jeanne Shaheen's plan to install up to 3,750 video gaming machines at the state's four racetracks to help fund public education. Senate President Clesson Blaisdell supports the bill, but House Speaker Donna Sytek said she would work to defeat any plan to legalize slots at tracks. The latest proposal would allow four hotels and resorts to have up to 500 slots each.
!*NEW JERSEY - The 12 casinos in Atlantic City will win over $4 billion this year, making them the largest gaming market in the U.S., just ahead of the Las Vegas strip. The State Lottery would like to put in video lottery terminals statewide. Given the casinos' political power, the proposal seems doubtful. Off-track betting parlors will eventually be opened, and so will telephone and Internet wagers on horse races.
!* NEW MEXICO - Gov. Johnson, elected and re-elected with the help of major tribal contributions, signed compacts for casinos, which were declared illegal. The Legislature passed a statute in 1997 legalizing them, but imposed a high (16%) tax. Only four of the 11 tribes with casinos are paying in full. The Supreme Court threw out challenges to the compacts on procedural grounds. To get the bill through, tracks and fraternal organizations had to be given slots, too -- the first slots opened at Sunland Park in March 1999. Gov. Johnson signed a bill allowing tribes to renegotiate with a committee of 16 legislators. Opponents are threatening suit, because the full Legislature would only have the power to vote yes or no; they could not amend any proposed new compact. Minnesota's Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe plans to be the first out-of-state tribe anywhere to build and manage a casino for another tribe, the Laguna Pueblo.
!* NEW YORK - A state trial judge caused a stir by declaring an "Internet site creates a virtual casino within the user's computer terminal" and may be dragged into New York. Interesting, but irrelevant: this operator was a New York company! Gov. George Pataki is more pro-gaming than leaders of the Legislature. The Legislature temporarily forced the Lottery to discontinue Keno, until they realized the money they were losing, and defeated constitutional amendments necessary to allow privately-owned casinos, despite the enormous success of Ontario's Casino Niagra and the Oneida tribe's Turning Stone casino. The St. Regis Mohawks opened the state's second casino in April 1999 – the state agreed to VLTs, for a share of the gaming revenue. The state is negotiating with a third tribe, the Senecas, who have put in 80 Video Pull-Tabs, which they claim are class II and do not require a compact. The tracks are now pushing for gaming machines. A trial court decision allows New York City to license casino day-trips-to-nowhere. The Off-Track Betting Corp. announced plans to set up the first state-sponsored Internet betting site, but the Legislature balked.
!*NORTH CAROLINA - In 1994, the Governor signed a compact allowing the Cherokees to offer video gaming at one bingo hall. A subsequent decision of the state Court of Appeals raises questions about the legality of video poker, but, the tribe is continuing to operate its 2,300 machines. The House approved, 91-11, a bill to virtually outlaw casino cruises-to-nowhere from the North Carolina coast.
!*NORTH DAKOTA - Low-stakes charity blackjack in hotels and four Indian casinos with slots; Spirit Lake has 500 slots, blackjack, craps, poker, simulcast racing, bingo and keno. Voters feel the state has enough gambling: In 1996, a proposal for video gaming was defeated at the polls; in 1986, voters rejected establishing a State Lottery -- one of only two states to do so this century.
OHIO - In 1996, a riverboat casino initiative was defeated 62% to 38%. Casino bills and initiatives have been attempted every other year for decades and always failed.
OKLAHOMA - In Feb. 1998, voters resoundingly defeated a casino initiative, after the sponsor withdrew. A proposal for a State Lottery has come from a formerly anti-lottery state senator, who looked at the Nov. 1998 election results from Alabama and South Carolina. In 1996, voters failed to approve a State Lottery, only the second time this century: Oklahoma Gov. David Walters' pro-lottery forces had been far out-spent by horse-racing interests. A federal Court of Appeals ordered the state to negotiate for tribal Class III gambling, but the case was dismissed following Seminole. A bill to allow charity raffles may accidentally re-open the door for Indian casinos.
!*OREGON - The State Lottery runs almost 8,900 video poker machines, maximum of five per location; the state Supreme Court held these do not constitute "casinos." Indian tribes have full casinos. Anti-gaming forces, led by the Rev. Tom Grey, are collecting signatures to get a referendum on the November 2000 general election ballot to outlaw video poker; whether this would lead to the closure of tribal casinos is unclear. Charities can run casino nights. The State Lottery takes bets on professional sports events.
PENNSYLVANIA - On March 8, 1999, a proposed non-binding referendum for riverboat casinos and slots at bars and tracks was declared to be unconstitutional by the state Senate. Although only a court has the power to decide whether something is constitutional, politically, the issue is over: The Senate vote was 28 to 21. Tracks are desperately attempting to revive the issue, but slots and casinos are dead, until at least the end of Gov. Tom Ridge's term in 2003.
*RHODE ISLAND - The state runs 1,628 VLTs at Newport Grand Jai Alai and Lincoln Greyhound Park. The Lottery Commission voted 5-4 to give them 850 more, to compete with Connecticut's Indian casinos. Lincoln Greyhound Park alone will soon have 1,550. Gov. Lincoln Almond filed suit and first won and then lost court orders against the machines. Gov. Almond's main argument, that the Commission is dominated by Legislators, was undercut by a recent state Supreme Court opinion. The former Governor signed a compact for an Indian casino, but local voters disapproved of casinos in their cities in a Nov. 1994 referendum by margins as high as 84% against. But in June 1999, the Narragansett Tribe won 2 to 1 in economically depressed West Warwick; in July the Town Council formally asked the General Assembly to put the proposed casino on the Nov. 2000 ballot. Senator John Chaffee pushed a bill through the U.S. Senate requiring statewide voter approval.
*SOUTH CAROLINA - In July 1999, the U.S. 4th Circuit ruled state laws apply to cruises-to-nowhere. The House approved a complete ban, but the bill is held up in the Senate over the question of whether cities and counties should be given a local option to allow ships. South Carolina has about 34,000 video poker machines; Nevada has only 17,922 outside of casinos. They attracted over $2.1 billion in wagers resulting in gaming profits of $610 million. The state Supreme Court ruled the constitution's anti-lottery provision does not apply; a federal court upheld $125-a-day maximum payouts; a state judge enjoined a law that would have prevented beer and wine sales. In June 1999, the Court heard arguments on a case arising out of a statute allowing anyone to sue if a gambler loses $50 or more. Voters in 30 of 46 counties approved cash payouts in 1996. Jim Hodges beat Republican incumbent Gov. David Beasley in Nov. 1998, by supporting a State Lottery and by not opposing the $2.5-billion-a-year video poker industry. A referendum to ban or increase the stakes on video poker will be on the Nov. 1999 ballot; establishment of a State Lottery in Nov. 2000.
!*SOUTH DAKOTA - One city alone, Deadwood, has legal casinos (93 at present) and there are ten more on Indian reservations. All have true slots and table games with $5 maximum bets. The State Lottery's 7,959 VLTs were declared unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court in June 1994, but voters reinstated the gaming devices by amending the state Constitution in the Nov. 1994 election. In Feb. 1999, the House rejected bills that would have outlawed or restricted VLTs.
TENNESSEE - Lots of talk -- even long-time gambling foe Gov. Don Sundquist might be coming around, but no chance of casinos or even a lottery without a constitutional amendment. That means 2002, at the earliest.
TEXAS - A federal trial court had ruled the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo near El Paso could have a full casino, with slots, but the Fifth Circuit reversed, ruling the federal act recognizing the tribe controlled. Now, no one knows what games are allowed. The Kickapoos recently lost a case over gaming devices. Elsewhere, the Texas Attorney General ruled casinos would require amending the constitution; which won't happen this century. Presidential candidate Gov. George W. Bush has been unsuccessful in trying to kill eight-liners -- the Senate even voted to let the slots give bingo card prizes at bingo halls and parimutuel betting tickets at tracks. In July 1999, Lone Star Park joined tracks in Kentucky and California in allowing drive-through betting windows.
VERMONT - A bill to allow casinos on railroads didn't leave the station. A racetrack in the southern part of the state is campaigning hard for slot machines and a bill to allow full casinos is pending.
VIRGINIA - In 1994, a riverboat casino bill sank under the weight of excess baggage: Disney's proposed historic theme park got tacked on. The bills were reintroduced in 1995, for the third time, and were again defeated.
!* WASHINGTON - Twenty tribes have casinos, supposedly without slots. (IGRA grandfathered-in one with true slots). The tribes sued the state, but the Ninth Circuit dismissed the suit after the U.S. Supreme Court's Seminole decision. Voters turned down proposals for tribal slots in 1995 and 1996. But the tribes have them now anyway, in the form of video lottery machines, a.k.a. "cashless slots." In an attempt to level the playing field, the Legislature allowed privately owned cardrooms to have house-banked blackjack. There are now more than 40 mini-casinos; Gov. Gary Locke supports bills to limit their growth.
*WEST VIRGINIA - In March 1999, the Legislature approved the unique "Limited Gaming Facility Act" -- Greenbrier County voters will decide whether to permit a casino with VLTs at the Greenbrier Resort, open only to registered overnight guests of the hotel. Four tracks (2 greyhound and 2 thoroughbred) have VLTs; the law prevents any newly-built track from having gaming devices. Jefferson County voted in Nov. 1996 to permit VLTs at Charles Town Races; the voters had turned the track down in 1994. Gov. Cecil Underwood let a bill become law without his signature, allowing VLTs to accept coins. A bill allowing VLTs across the state is still technically alive.
!*WISCONSIN - Fifteen Indian casinos with slots. The legislature voted in 1993 to prohibit further casino expansion, but proposals for massive new casinos still pop up. The original compacts began expiring in 1998, but were mostly renewed when tribes agreed to raise the gambling age to 21 and make larger payments to the state: the state's share went from $400,000 to $20 million a year.
WYOMING - An initiative to allow full casinos was defeated by a two-to-one margin in Nov. 1994. The electoral defeat meant fewer jobs for lawyers: The initiative was so poorly written that it was legally unclear whether bets would have been limited to $25 maximum or whether there would have been no limits. State law allows limited sports betting.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - Riverboat casino initiative failed to get enough legitimate signatures: Of 45,000 signatures gathered, fewer than 15,000 were from voters. "Monte Carlo" nights for charities are a growing concern.
!*COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN MARIANAS - Casinos with slots are allowed.
*GUAM - Gaming devices are legal. In Nov. 1996, an initiative to allow full casinos to compete with those on the nearby island of Saipan in the Northern Marianas was defeated at the polls.
!*PUERTO RICO - Full casinos with a strange twist: The government used to own the slot machines. A movement to privatize developed in 1996.
!* VIRGIN ISLANDS - Local voters approved the concept of legalized casinos in a non-binding referendum in Nov. 1994. Legislation for casinos has been approved, and the first license issued. The Legislature now wants VLTs, which would hurt the casino expected to open in Nov. 1999.
I. NELSON ROSE
Professor I. Nelson Rose is an internationally known public speaker, writer and scholar and is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on gambling law. A 1979 graduate of Harvard Law School, he is a tenured full Professor of Law at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California, where he teaches one of the first law school classes on gambling law.
Professor Rose is the author of more than 200 articles, books and chapters on the subject. He is best known for his internationally syndicated column, "Gambling and the Law®," and his landmark 1986 book by the same name. His most recent book -- just released -- is a collection of columns and analysis on Blackjack and the Law.
A consultant to governments and industry, Professor Rose has testified as an expert witness in administrative, civil and criminal cases and has acted as a consultant to major law firms, licensed casinos, international corporations, players, Indian tribes, and local, state and national governments, including California, Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Washington, and the federal government of Canada.
With the rising interest in gambling throughout the world, Professor Rose has been called upon to discuss gambling and the law before such diverse groups as the National Conference of State Legislatures, Congress of State Lotteries of Europe, National Academy of Sciences and the United States Conference of Mayors. He has presented scholarly papers on gambling in Nevada, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, England, Australia, Portugal, Argentina and the Czech Republic.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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