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Official Wants Cap On State’s Take Of Gambling Revenue

An Indian gambling official says Congress should cap the amount of casino revenue tribes can give to states because large payments can constitute an illegal tax.

George Skibine, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs´ Office of Indian Gaming Management, spoke at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing today in Washington. He said tribal payments should be capped at ten percent or less of revenue.

That would be less than half the 25 percent sought by Governor Schwarzenegger in his ongoing negotiations with California tribes. The committee hearing was to consider a bill to amend the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, including by adding various conditions required for tribes to share revenue with states. Skibine says his department prefers a more straightforward cap, which is not currently in the bill.