A tribal government trade and lobby group has been formed to prepare Native American casinos for the legalization of sports betting. Many Native American casinos are worried that the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Betting Act (PASPA) will harm the total revenue that their gaming creates and then redistributes to Native American tribes.
The chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, Ernie Stevens, believes that the regulation and implementation of sports betting could be a states rights issue. In PASPA there are exceptions for states that had legal sports betting before the act became law. It is possible that this goes back to being a state’s issue rather than replacing PASPA with a federal regulatory law. As Dave Palermo points out, Indian tribes also need to have their own discussions amongst themselves on what regulations and practices they will put in place if PASPA is repealed.
Native American casinos are subject to state law and tribal-state compacts as part of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. A federal repeal of PASPA may change the way commercial casinos operate because they fall under federal law while also putting Indian casinos at a disadvantage. By not having sports betting, the Indian casinos could be without the biggest draw a casino could offer.
One of the most important assets Native American tribes have is the ability to have their own casinos as a way to generate revenue for their own tribes. I’m sure that some of the tribes’ leaders are concerned that the tribes could miss out on the first mover advantages and maybe lose out on a golden opportunity to get ahead of the rest of the commercial casinos.
[h/t Legal Sports Report]