for gaming initiative
Express Staff Writer
five-day whirlwind tour of Idaho last week, Coeur D’Alene Tribe Press
Secretary Bob Bostwick pushed tribal gaming as a viable and necessary
component of Idaho’s Indian economy.
will be asked Nov. 5 to weigh in on Proposition One, which would enact
the Indian Gaming and Self-Reliance Act and continue to allow Idaho’s
tribes to use video gambling machines.
Bostwick’s words, the proposition would essentially maintain the
status quo and head off complications.
complications already exist.
Sen. Laird Noh, R-Kimberly, is helping lead efforts against the
slot machines used by the tribe are illegal under the Idaho
Constitution, as well as being a public nuisance," Noh said.
"The Constitution basically makes all gambling in Idaho illegal,
except for three exceptions: the state lottery, horse racing and
was very careful not to use the words "slot machines" during
interviews. He said the tribe’s gaming machines are called,
respectively, "video lottery machines, video lottery, video pull
tabs. Only politicians refer to them as anything else."
said that, if passed, Proposition One may require amendments to the
state Constitution, which states, "Gambling is contrary to public
policy and is strictly prohibited…"
continued, "The initiative would redefine these machines as
something they aren’t."
said the initiative, which applies to all Idaho tribes, should, if
approved at all, be specific to separate tribes.
have to weigh this against the millions and millions of dollars of a
very sophisticated public relations campaign by the tribes to try to
influence the vote," Noh said.
Bostwick said the tribes have come to rely heavily on gaming and need to
"avoid ongoing legal battles in the future" to help give the
tribes a "clear picture of the future."
to the tribes, gaming helps support 4,455 local jobs; generates $83
million in wages, $250 million in sales and $10 million in state and
local taxes each year. It attracts more than 1 million out-of-state
visitors to Idaho each year and saves taxpayers $6 million per year in
reduced welfare and social service payments.
great deal of what we’re doing is benefiting non-Indians in that
region of the state," Bostwick said. "Gaming has been an
economic engine. This would put some clarity in the future of the
five Indian reservations in Idaho.