Gambling Reservation

According to ProJo’s 7to7 Blog:

The Narragansett Indian tribe is pursuing plans to build a slot parlor on its lands in Charlestown and has approached Rhode Island’s Congressional leaders about reversing a federal law that would block their efforts.
“We don’t want table games. We don’t want roulette. We want what the state has,” Chief Sachem Matthew Thomas said.
Thomas has requested a meeting with members of the state delegation about the Chafee amendment, a 1996 law that introduced by U.S. Senator John Chafee that bars the tribe from federal Indian gaming privileges on its 1,800 acres. {Hyperlinks added by me.}

In 1998, the Federal Court of Appeals upheld the Chafee Amendment, leaving the tribe no other option but to seek it’s revocation. I’m not opposed to the Narragansetts having a casino on their land. It’s their sovereign right, after all. Yes, I realize they bargained away some of that sovereignty, but they have every right to redress that mistake. And if they can get someone in the RI delegation to overturn the “Chafee Amendment,” then more power to them.

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17 years ago

Oh sure. They want ‘what the state has’ in order to get public support right up until the moment they get the Chafee rider reversed. Then it’s “Foxwoods Plus” in Charlestown.
Mark my words. I don’t trust the indians any more than they should have trusted us 300 years ago…

17 years ago

The idea that the Chafee amendment was discriminatory is just wrong.
The Chafee amendment was intended to correct a 1993 Court of Appeals decision.
The legislative history of the Indian Gaming Act made it clear that the law would not apply on RI Settlement Lands, but the Court refused to apply the legislative history. Senators Pell and Chafee both established this in the legislative history as the law was being debated. Because “settlement lands” were different from tribal reservation lands, Sens. Chafee and Pell tried to make it clear that the gaming law would not apply to settlement lands. Any sensible person reading the background would agree . . .
The Court of Appeals refused to follow the legislative history, so it had to be changed legislatively to restore the original intent of the Congress.
That’s what the Chafee amendment did.

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