Two Congressmen are filing legislation that seeks to help tribal casinos offer online Gaming. US Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif), and US Rep. John Katko (R-NY) are sponsoring Bill HR-4308 that will not authorize any type of online gaming, but leave it to the state to decide.
The bill comes a day after a federal lawsuit filling in Florida. The lawsuits seek to stop a tribal gaming compact that would offer the Seminole Tribe exclusive statewide mobile sports betting rights in the state.
Correa noted that the tribal nations risk losing revenue streams that help them improve education, health care, and housing for the communities if not given a chance to offer online gaming.
“Congress needs to provide the clarification in m bill to ensure that tribal gaming is not relegated to the same fate as Blockbuster, but can move forward and thrive like Netflix in the era of the internet.”
However, this is not the first time lawmakers have sought to expand tribal nations’ gaming rights. In 2019, US Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) filed a similar bill. The bill sought to eliminate barriers to offering online sports betting. The congressional session ended before the bill could receive a committee hearing.
A lot has changed since Brindisi’s bill including, the expansion of US online gaming. A state like New York has approved sports betting. However, online betting is prohibited in ten upstate areas where the tribes have exclusive gaming rights.
New Mexico tribal casinos were the first to offer sports betting after the Supreme Court overturned the sports Act in 2018. Tribal operators in North Carolina, Indiana, Connecticut, and Michigan are permitted to offer sports betting. The bill will impact other states that do not permit tribal operators to offer online gaming.