Bureau of Indian Affairs loosens restrictions on casino development

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The Obama administration removed a hurdle for Indian tribes wanting to build casinos far from their ancestral land, setting the stage for new development.

Under pressure from many tribes throughout the country, the Interior Department, which runs the Bureau of Indian Affairs, rescinded a Bush-era directive that said tribes could develop casinos off their reservations only if they were within commuting distance. The Bureau will return to a policy that considers off-reservation casinos on a case-by-case basis.

The policy shift is poised to revive numerous plans for off-reservation casino projects, from the Columbus River George in Oregon to the Catskills in New York. And it comes as Indian tribes increasingly need casino revenue to create jobs and help offset the economic trauma of high unemployment and poverty on the reservations.

Full story: Casino developments get a boost

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