Biden Admin. to Approve Off-Reservation Tribal Casino

Photo: Unsplash

The Facts

  • US President Biden's administration is reportedly expected to approve the off-reservation construction of a Native American tribe's casino. According to sources close to the matter, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs is set to green-light the Coquille Indian Tribe's casino in Medford, Oregon as soon as this week.

  • The effort by the Coquille tribe, also known as the Cedars at Bear Creek, has been ongoing for almost a decade, having first been proposed during former President Obama's administration. Critics, however, fear Biden is continuing Obama's trend of easing gaming and land-trust acquisition restrictions that they say will threaten the sovereign rights of tribal governments.

The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

This is a solid policy from the Biden administration. This discussion cannot forget to include how such policies impact smaller tribes. For example, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Kialegee Tribal Town in Oklahoma — both of whom haven't received much federal land compared to other tribes — are in desperate need of an off-reservation casino to help their citizens who only make an average of $1K per month. This is a balanced approach that takes into account multiple tribal nations.

Establishment-critical narrative

The Coquille tribe isn't taking into consideration the negative impact this off-reservation project will have on the future generations of Indians living within reservation boundaries. While opening up a casino more than 100 miles away from home will certainly bring in some revenue, the jobs it will create will be on non-native land, leaving Indians of all tribes without an opportunity to access such opportunities. This sets a bad precedent that can negatively impact many Native American tribes nationwide.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that the last US casino will close by at least Dec. 2299, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Public figures in this story

Articles on this story

Sign up to our daily newsletter