Native Americans say they want the ability to compete for money and jobs generated by Internet gambling if Congress legalizes it. But they don't want to lose their sovereignty to get it.
The Senate Indian Affairs Committee held a hearing Thursday about tribes' concerns over Internet gambling, which has been banned in the U.S. since 2006. Many people have been playing at offshore sites anyway.
On October 31 U.S. Senator and Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka proposed legislation that would give tribal courts jurisdiction over non-Indians who committed crimes on tribal lands.
The authority to prosecute non-Natives in tribal courts was stripped in a 1978 Supreme Court ruling. Supporters of Senator Akaka’s bill say that the 1978 ruling led to an increase in violence on reservations and has resulted in unprosecuted and unpunished offenders.