Speak Out: Defining a slot machine
by our readers
Aug 04, 2013 | 3242 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Re “Dishonesty among lawmakers” (Speak Out, July 28):

Luke P. Quinn of Opelika accused me of lying in recent “tweets” when I stated that federal law prohibits Indian tribes from conducting Class III gaming in Alabama. In fact, it is the reader who is misinformed.

It is universally accepted that Class III gaming by Indian tribes is illegal in Alabama, as a matter of basic Indian gaming law. That’s precisely why Poarch Creek Indian casinos do not offer Class III games like blackjack and roulette. It is illegal because there is no tribal-state compact (similar to a treaty) in place between the Poarch Creeks and the state of Alabama.

Quinn need not take my word for it. He can go to the website of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), which clearly states: “[T]ribes offering Class III gaming must have a valid Tribal-state compact approved by the Secretary of the Interior.” (www.nigc.gov/Reading_Room/Game_Classification_Opinions.aspx)

Federal law expressly refers to slot machines as Class III games. Therefore, Indian tribes cannot operate slot machines in states with which they do not have a tribal-state compact. Now, however, the NIGC has announced it will adopt a new regulation “reclassifying” one-touch “electronic bingo” machines from Class III (i.e., slots) to Class II (i.e., bingo). This is because Class II gambling does not require a tribal-state compact.

Any fool can see that the NIGC’s new reg is intended to legitimize the “electronic bingo” slot machines currently offered at Indian casinos in states like Alabama — all with the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen. It’s just another example of the Obama administration trying to rewrite the law through agency regulations, totally circumventing Congress.

Looks like the Poarch Creeks are getting their money’s worth for their $100,000 contribution to Obama’s re-election campaign.

Bryan Taylor
State Senator, District 30 (Autauga, Butler, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes and Pike counties)
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