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Arizona Indians Resist Senator McCain Casino Review

22 June 2001

ARIZONA –June 22, 2001—As reported by the Arizona Review: "U.S. Sen. John McCain has called for congressional hearings to examine whether casino profits are truly benefiting Indian tribal governments.

"But some Arizona tribes think McCain's idea could be a bad bet.

"In a letter sent Wednesday to Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, McCain says hearings are necessary to review the federal government's oversight role in the Indian casino industry.

"…In his letter to Inouye, McCain asks for a review of several aspects of gaming, including licensing procedures, management procedures and the responsibility of the National Indian Gaming Commission to review casino management contracts.

"…Some Arizona tribes are concerned that new hearings could lead to unwanted revisions of Indian gaming law, said David LaSarte, executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association.

"`Before we open this up, we need to consider all the issues,' LaSarte said. `Opening it up for tinkering allows enemies of tribal sovereignty to weaken the tribal movement toward self-reliance.'"

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