Monday, April 09, 2007

Village asks for license to gamble - South Sound - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington

Village asks for license to gamble - South Sound - The Olympian - Olympia, Washington: "Village asks for license to gamble

Elizabeth Bluemink
Anchorage Daily News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Native village of Eklutna applied this week for federal permission to operate a gambling center on tribal land about 20 miles from Anchorage.
The village asked the National Indian Gaming Commission for Class II gaming authorization, which allows bingo, pull tabs or an electronic version of those games.
The village said in a written statement Friday that its proposed gaming center could be positive for the local economy, creating new jobs and enhancing tourism.
'We were told this would not be a full-on casino-type operation,' said city attorney Jim Reeves.
Anchorage and state officials said they are watching the village request closely. The Washington, D.C.-based commission must rule on it within 90 days.
Not casino friendly
In the past, Alaska has fought off attempts to establish casinos or high-stakes pull-tab games on tribal land here.
The only gambling allowed in Alaska is for nonprofit purposes, though even nonprofit gambling here is a big business, with spending exceeding $349 million in 2005, according to state reports.
Under Alaska law, any kind of casino is illegal, including charitable or American Indian-owned.
A key factor in getting federal approval for non-casino Class II gambling is determining whether Eklutna's tribal land can even be used for gambling.
The village, which filed Tuesday, asked federal regulators to decide whether the 8-acre plot on which they hope to build a gaming center - a family-owned American Indian allotment near the Birchwood Airport - meets the definition of tribal land."
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