Status of Casino Malaysia Gambling Laws in the U.S.
The following are American jurisdictions having recent activity concerning legal gambling.
* – States and territories with gaming devices are marked with an asterisk: *
! – States with at least one casino (defined as having both banking card games and slot-like machines) are marked with an exclamation point: !
UNITED STATES – Interior Secretary Gale Norton told Congress she needs time to decide whether to implement regulations proposed by former Secretary Bruce Babbitt, which would give this federal official power to approve tribal casinos over a state’s objections. Florida and Alabama had sued Babbitt, and bills to explicitly give or to take away the secretary’s power have failed to pass both houses. The National Gambling Impact Study Commission has come and gone and been forgotten; its Final Report was filled with factual errors. One bill (Kyl) to prohibit Internet gambling, with many exemptions for state-licensed gaming, passed the Senate & another (Goodlatte) passed House committees, but both failed to get two-thirds majority in the House. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled federal laws against casino broadcast commercials were unconstitutional; state prohibitions may still be valid. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has so far stopped bills to outlaw legal sports betting.
* ALABAMA – The Seminole case began when the Poarch Band of Creek Indians sued the state because the Governor refused to negotiate for casinos. The U.S. Supreme Court: 1) ruled a state could not be sued without its consent, but 2) refused to decide whether the Secretary of the Interior could make the gaming regulations, leaving tribes and states in limbo. The tribe is operating gaming devices in a bingo hall, while the court fights continue. The state allows slot-like machines in kiddie arcades. Dog tracks and adult arcades have put in machines which pay out coupons. A state judge ruled and Atty. Gen. Bill Pryor opined these are illegal slots; suits are pending. A federal judge has cleared the way for Casino Malaysia authorities to ban video arcades in Jefferson County. A proposal to give the state’s four moribund dog tracks true video poker machines has been reintroduced, but appears to be dead. Gov. Fob James, Jr. (R) opposed a State Lottery and lost reelection to Don Siegelman (D) in Nov. 1998. But an unprecedented mobilization of religious organizations throughout the country defeated a constitutional amendment to allow a State Lottery at the polls in Oct. 1999.
ALASKA – Casinos are prohibited by state law. Proposals to allow cruise ship gaming and the Klawock band of Tlingit Indians to open a full casino on remote Prince of Wales Island have gone nowhere.
!* ARIZONA – In July 2001, federal Judge Robert C. Broomfield issued a 121-page opinion, agreeing with the state’s three racetracks that the Legislature unlawfully gave the Governor a “blank check” to sign future compacts, and that the state does not allow blackjack, keno or slots. He ordered Gov. Jane Hull not to enter into any new compacts. (Gov. Hull and the state’s 17 gaming tribes were renegotiating, looking at a cap of 14,675 slots statewide and a 7% revenue sharing with the state.) Former governors signed compacts for casinos with slots (which remain open while the case is on appeal) because an Attorney General had ruled charities may run casino games. Judge Broomfield is wrong, mainly because the voters approved a standard form tribal compact. Former-Gov. Symington signed compacts with 16 tribes, but, misreading the federal Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Rumsey, refused to sign any more. In Nov. 1996, voters approved the “Fairness Initiative,” requiring the state to negotiate compacts with the remaining five tribes — the first time in American history a state voted to allow new high-stakes casinos in the face of active opposition. In 2000, the Legislature authorized the governor to renegotiate the compacts (they begin to expire in 2003), but imposed requirements, including that compacts must: set guidelines on ATMs and credit card use; require casinos to post the Arizona Lottery’s problem gambling hotline number; prohibit advertising to minors; and establish a voluntary self-ban procedure for problem gamblers. The Legislature and Governor also approved raising the gambling age from 18 to 21 for all wagers, including tribal casinos.