Feds ditch rule that foiled Indian tribes’ plans for off-reservation casino in Catskills
By Associated Press, Published: June 14
ALBANY, N.Y. — The Obama administration announced Tuesday it has rescinded a rule that blocked Indian tribes from building casinos far from their reservations, reviving hopes among local officials for casino gambling in the Catskills.
Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk announced the policy change to tribal leaders at the National Congress of American Indians in Milwaukee.
The change overturns the so-called commutability rule, created in 2008 by then-Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. According to the rule, a casino beyond reasonable commuting distance from a tribe’s reservation was damaging to life on the reservation because its residents would move to follow the new jobs.
“The 2008 guidance memorandum was unnecessary and was issued without the benefit of tribal consultation,” Echo Hawk said. “We will proceed to process off-reservation gaming applications in a transparent manner, consistent with existing law.”
Strange how the rules change from administration-to-administration. This rule originally imposed under the Bush Administration when Carl Artman was Assistant Secretary. This does little to remove the obstacles to siting an off-reservation casino.