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Tribes oppose bingo machine changes

14 Dec 2006

WASHINGTON – As reported by the Bellingham Herald: "American Indian tribes are awaiting a decision on possible changes to video bingo machines that may lead to million-dollar losses in casino revenues.

"The proposed National Indian Gaming Commission changes, published in May, called for slowing down play, requiring more players in each game and clearly labeling machines to help distinguish video bingo from slots. In effect, to make video bingo seem more like bingo.

"The changes have been loudly opposed by many tribes.

"…In Whatcom County, the changes would directly affect the Nooksack Indian Tribe, which is building a new casino north of Lynden with 500 video bingo machines. The tribe's Nooksack River Casino in Deming operates 28 bingo machines.

"…The gaming commission, a regulatory agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior, wants to draw a clear line between video bingo and slot machines so tribes and customers won't be confused.

"Tribes need an agreement with the state to operate slot machines but not to run video bingo. Gaming agreements limit the number of slot machines a tribe can have, so some have turned to video bingo to supplement their incomes…"

 
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