Skip to content

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., would like more information from the tribe before he decides whether or not to pursue legislation that would put a moratorium through fiscal year 2003 on decisions by the Secretary of the Interior to approve class III gaming compacts without prior agreement from the state.

The tribe has proposed a gambling compact that would include betting on horse racing, raffles and pull tab games and some other forms of gambling, but casino-style games such as table games, (e.g. blackjack and roulette), or slot machines, would be prohibited. The Secretary of the Interior must approve the compact in order for it to take affect.

Enzi has consistently opposed casino gambling in Wyoming and federal intrusion on state gambling laws. He conferred with leaders of the Northern Arapaho Tribe in his office today. In what he described as a positive meeting, Enzi asked tribal leaders to provide him with more information to help him decide whether or not to pursue legislation that would prohibit the Interior Department from approving gaming compacts this fiscal year.

"I wanted to sit down with members of the council and hear from them before making a decision. I listened to their concerns and they listened to mine," said Enzi. "I'm an accountant so I asked them for the numbers. I would like to see their actuarial data that shows their project is sound. The tribal leaders also agreed to provide me with information on alternate economic development plans in addition to the gambling."

Enzi said gambling could turn out to be "an economic development mirage. It looks like economic development, but it steals from the people that live closest to it. So I encouraged and they agreed to provide me with substantial plans for real business development."

Enzi said he wanted more details about the scope of the gambling project. He wants to know how it will fit in the area and what effects it might have on the rest of the state.

"I want to know if this will cause disruptions on the reservation and surrounding area. I would like the tribe to document how it has been working on this project with other members of the community," said Enzi.