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Nebraska Tribal Gaming

In March 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from the federal government over Class II gaming devices at the Santee Sioux Tribe's casino. The Santee had battled the federal authorities for more than nine years over definitions of gaming devices. The court's action allowed pull-tab-style gaming devices to be classified as Class II machines. The Ohiya Casino, owned by the Santee, had used the pull-tab gaming devices for a few years with the approval of the National Indian Gaming Commission, but federal authorities asked for a ruling on the devices. The case had nationwide implications, clarifying what constitutes Class II machines of this type.

In April 2005, the U.S. Interior Department ruled that the Santee Sioux Tribe could not conduct pari-mutuel betting, simulcast or offtrack betting on dog or horse racing, and stated that only lotteries, keno and ontrack betting on horses could be offered at the casino. The Santee lawsuit, filed the same month, claimed the Interior Department's ruling was arbitrary and deprived the tribe of needed income. While a state is allowed to negotiate a compact with a tribe, Nebraska had refused to do so. The Omaha and Winnebago tribes, which also operate casinos in Nebraska, launched a collective initiative with the Santee Sioux to put a referendum on the November 2006 ballot to approve Vegas-style gaming and allow the tribes to operate an additional casino in a three-way partnership. The state Supreme Court overruled the move in September 2006, thus barring the measure from appearing on the ballot.

Nebraska Tribal Gaming Properties

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