Opponents: North Dakota-Owned Casinos Would Hurt Tribes

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Opponents of a proposal that would change the North Dakota Constitution to allow state-owned casinos say it will hurt American Indian gambling facilities and relationships with tribes.

Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox told the House Judiciary Committee Monday that casinos provide jobs and revenue for the state’s five Indian reservations and nearby communities.

Ruth Buffalo of Mandaree says state and tribal relations are at an “all-time low” following the Dakota Access pipeline dispute. She says the state should be working to repair the relationship instead of mulling casinos.

Republican Rep. Al Carlson of Fargo says the state could market its casinos as “destination-oriented attractions” and use their profits to offset taxes.

If approved by the Legislature, voters could decide the issue in the June 2018 primary.

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