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INDIAN GAMING CHAIR CALLS FOR STATES, TRIBES TO BE ALLIES IN JOB CREATION

 NEW ORLEANS, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) yesterday called on state and local governments to "work as allies with Indian tribal leaders so all of our communities can benefit from the fruits of tribal gaming."
 Addressing the opening session of NIGA's annual convention and trade show in New Orleans, Chairman Rick Hill (chairman of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin) said tribally sponsored gaming has become "the most successful job-creation tool for Indians and non-Indians alike" -- one that "doesn't cost the taxpayer a dime."
 But Hill warned the hundreds of tribal leaders and industry supporters in attendance, "not to let the might and self-interest of the large commercial gambling interests deceive our natural allies through misinformation and Washington and state capitol lobbying clout."
 Hill said that tribal leaders have agreed to join governors and state attorneys general in a process of discussion designed to address concerns growing out of the 1988 Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). "As governments, we share a common drive to create jobs for our constituents, spur economic development and provide equality of opportunity. Tribal gaming has proven to be the most successful economic development tool of our time, not just for our tribal members, but for the thousands of non-Indians in neighboring communities."
 Hill warned that commercial gaming interests "are now trying to undermine the Act by challenging its constitutionality in court and by introducing legislation to gut its purpose." He specifically cited legislation introduced by Nevada Sens. Harry Reid (D) and Richard Bryan (D), and New Jersey Rep. Robert Torricelli (D), which would "destroy Indian tribal sovereignty for the sake of perpetuating the gambling czars' historical control of this industry."
 Hill also told delegates to the NIGA conference that states should be working together willingly with Indian tribes rather than trying to change IGRA -- the same law they originally wanted passed. He said states now want more control to tax and regulate Indian gaming, an industry which he claimed is working and is already the most heavily regulated in the history of gambling. "There are numerous problems confronting state and local governments today," Hill said. "Fortunately, our industry is not one of these problems. It is working and producing its intended societal benefits. All of us -- the tribes, our many supporters, the federal government and states and local governments must work together to keep this good thing going."
 The National Indian Gaming Association convention continues through Wednesday, June 23. An estimated 1,500 tribal leaders and industry suppliers are participating.
 -0- 6/22/93
 /CONTACT: Gay Kingman or Marsha Kelly of the National Indian Gaming Association, 504-544-6802/


CO: National Indian Gaming Association ST: Louisiana IN: SU:

DC-IH -- DC011 -- 4677 06/22/93 16:03 EDT
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Date:Jun 22, 1993
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