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BILLIONAIRE LAUNCHES ANTI-INDIAN CAMPAIGN

 ST. PAUL, Minn., May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The newest joke circulating in Indian country: "Have you heard that Donald Trump is introducing a new white w(h)ine? It's called, 'I want the Indians' 3 percent.'"
 Leaders of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) today issued a scathing response to reports of Donald Trump's lawsuit against the National Indian Gaming Commission. The lawsuit alleges that Indian gaming has caused him "substantial economic injury and threatens further injury." MIGA Chairman Myron Ellis called the charges "ludicrous," and said the action is part of an all-out effort by non-Indian gaming interests to deny tribes the right to conduct gaming operations.
 "Indian gaming accounts for less than 3 percent of the total gaming industry in the U.S.," said Ellis. "It's appalling that someone of Donald Trump's immense wealth would attempt to deny Indians the opportunity to bring themselves up out of grinding poverty. Most Indians tribes could have supported their people for the past 100 years on what Trump is paying his ex-wife in alimony."
 The 1990 census confirmed that American Indians are worse off than any other minority in the nation. "Even with tribal gaming, it will take years -- generations -- before the playing field is anywhere near level for Indian people," Ellis said.
 If Trump is worried about unfair competition, Ellis said he should sue state governments which operate lotteries. According to gaming industry figures, state lotteries account for nearly 40 percent of all gaming proceeds. The rest, nearly 60 percent, is earned by private business owners including Trump, who operates three casinos in Atlantic City.
 "Evidently Trump isn't satisfied with his billions," said Ellis. "He wants to take our 3 percent as well -- the money that's going for health care, school programs, law enforcement, roads, water treatment, senior housing and other critical needs on the reservation."
 "We've heard of greed," Ellis concluded, "but this stunt redefines the word. If Trump is looking for someone to blame for his own financial failure, maybe he should invest in a good mirror."
 Following is an article written by Associated Press:
 TRUMP SUES OVER INDIAN GAMING
 ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Donald Trump is suing the federal government for giving special treatment to Indian gambling, but American Indian groups say the billionaire's lawsuit is based on greed and fear of competition.
 Trump attorney John Barry said Monday the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act violates the Constitution because it requires states to permit gambling but denies them the right to tax and regulate the games.
 Trump owns three casinos in New Jersey. The Ramapough tribe is seeking federal permission to negotiate a gambling agreement with that state.
 "This guy is unbelievable," said the tribe's attorney, George Schneider.
 "His father hands him a multi-million-dollar empire. The Native American Indians are lucky if they can give their children food, clothing and a roof over their head," said Schneider, who represents 2,000 Ramapoughs in northern New Jersey and New York.
 Trump's lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Newark, argues that the gaming regulation strips states of their "sovereign, constitutional powers to tax, regulate and police gambling activities conducted within their borders."
 A 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision gave tribes sovereignty over gambling on their territory. The case was brought by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians near Palm Springs, Calif.
 Cabazon Chief Executive Officer Mark Nicols said he wasn't surprised by Trump's lawsuit.
 "Mr. Trump is echoing commercial interests' resistance to Indians getting involved in gaming," said Nicols. "People are trying to protect their markets."
 The gaming act, passed by Congress in 1988, stipulates that tribes may run the types of gambling operations already permitted by the state in which their reservation lies only after agreements on specifics are reached with the state.
 But Mary Helen Thompson, a spokeswoman for Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, said the games are regulated under the agreements.
 The act "precisely sets the terms of Indian gaming and while the Indian lands are sovereign lands, the tribes still have to enter into a compact with the state they're in regarding the kind gaming and how that gaming takes place," Thompson said.
 Trump's lawsuit names Babbitt and the National Indian Gaming Commission as defendants.
 The lawyer for the Ramapoughs said Trump was being greedy.
 "He cannot accept the potential honest competition that the Native American may present to his casino empire," said Schneider.
 Trump, his New York-based organization, and his three Atlantic City casinos -- Trump Castle, Trump Fiaza and Trump Taj Mahal -- are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
 -0- 5/6/93
 /CONTACT: Marsha Kelly of Issue Strategies Group, 612-293-1049, for Minnesota Indian Gaming Association/


CO: Minnesota Indian Gaming Association ST: Minnesota IN: CNO SU:

AL -- MN020 -- 5708 05/06/93 17:34 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1993
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