house Resolution No.42

Rep. Hauck offered the following resolution:

A resolution to oppose the unchecked proliferation of off-reservation gaming in the state of Michigan and to urge the Governor to oppose any off-reservation effort that is not in complete conformance with Indian gaming compacts as approved by the tribes, the state of Michigan, and the United States Department of the Interior.

Whereas, Twelve federally recognized Indian Tribes in the state of Michigan conduct gaming pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and an approved gaming compact between each tribe and the state; and

Whereas, IGRA provides that tribes may only conduct Class III gaming as provided under a gaming compact negotiated between the tribe and the state and approved by the United States Department of the Interior; and

Whereas, Class III gaming under IGRA includes, but is not limited to, slot machines; and

Whereas, All gaming compacts between the tribes and the state of Michigan expressly limit tribal Class III gaming to the tribes' reservation and/or on eligible lands on or near the tribes' reservation as specifically described in the gaming compact; and

Whereas, In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of tribes pursuing off-reservation Class III gaming that does not comply with the requirements of the tribes' gaming compacts as approved by the tribe, the state of Michigan, and the United States Department of the Interior; and

Whereas, Many of these off–reservation gaming proposals and schemes are made and pursued by tribes with successful on-reservation gaming operations but seek to establish additional casinos on lands outside their reservation or eligible lands and within the aboriginal lands of other tribes. This process, known as "reservation shopping", is highly controversial and is opposed by much of Indian Country; and

Whereas, In 2004, Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Michigan Constitution to limit the expansion of casino gambling similar to limits placed in tribal gaming compacts and to require any expansion of non-Indian gaming to be approved by a statewide and local vote; and

Whereas, Any approval of off-reservation gaming proposals that do not fully conform to the limitations provided by the approved gaming compacts will undermine and invalidate the will of the voters in limiting gaming in the state of Michigan; and

Whereas, Off-reservation casinos in the Detroit area would have a devastating negative impact on the finances of the city of Detroit; and

Whereas, The gaming compacts between the tribes and the state are the law in the state of Michigan and should be followed and enforced; and

Whereas, The Governor does not have the authority to unilaterally waive a provision of a tribal gaming compact without the approval of the Michigan Legislature unless such authority is expressly provided to the Governor by the gaming compact; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we oppose off-reservation gaming that does not conform to the express requirements of the Indian gaming compacts as approved by the tribes, the state of Michigan, and the United States Department of the Interior; and be it further

Resolved, That we urge the Governor to deny and take all legal action necessary to defeat any request or attempt by a tribe to establish an off-reservation casino unless all requirements and conditions for such casino have been met, as required in the gaming compacts as negotiated and approved with the state of Michigan; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Governor.