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BIA limits distance for new casinos

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July 17, 2008

SANTA FE -- The Bureau of Indian Affairs added clarity to its recent policy for off-reservation casinos. The BIA said this week that new Indian casinos should be within 25 miles of a reservation headquarters.

In two cases this year the U.S. Interior Department rejected requests for off-reservation casinos. The Jemez Pueblo were denied a casino near Anthony in southern New Mexico, and the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma were stopped from opening a casino near Deming.

The BIA will allow exceptions. If a tribe owns land away from a reservation and there is a significant number of tribal members living there or nearby, the tribe may seek reservation status for that land.

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