CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, September 17, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 1410, the Keep the Promise Act of 2013, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on April 9, 2013 by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by a vote of 35-5.
H.R. 1410 prohibits Class II and Class III gaming on land within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area that is acquired by the Secretary of the Interior in trust for the benefit of an Indian tribe after April 9, 2013. This prohibition would remain in place until January 1, 2027. This legislation would specifically prevent the Tohono O’odham Nation (TO Nation) from using trust lands provided by the Department of the Interior to build a casino in Glendale, Arizona.
The Keep the Promise Act of 2013 responds to a controversy in the State of Arizona regarding the Department of the Interior’s setting aside of public land for the Tohono O’odham Nation (TO Nation) in order to construct and open a casino in the City of Glendale (located within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area). The Act would remain in place until the expiration of Arizona’s Proposition 202 (January 1, 2027), which allowed an increase in the number of slot machines at casinos operated by Native American tribes. One of the limitations set out in Proposition 202 was that no further Class II and Class III gambling facilities would be authorized in Phoenix. H.R. 1410 was also drafted in order to prevent the Secretary of the Interior from taking an action that could lead to the expansion of off-reservation casinos throughout the United States.
Class II and Class III gaming are defined in section 4 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Class II gaming involves bingo and “non-banked” card games, or games that do not involve one player or the house acting as the bank. Class III gaming is more broadly defined, and includes common casino games, including slot machines, roulette, craps, and card games that involve a bank. H.R. 1410 would prohibit both classes of gaming on these lands.
This legislation would not specifically affect the tribe’s ability to open a casino located on lands south of Phoenix, nor would it prevent the TO Nation from using the land for uses other than gambling or its right to operate gambling facilities on its current reservation lands. Finally, it would not affect the tribe’s ability to seek land for gaming.
Similar legislation, H.R. 2938, passed in the 112thCongress by a vote of 343-78.
 Text of Proposition 202: http://www.azleg.gov/jlbc/prop202.pdf
 Definitions in Indian Gaming Regulatory Act: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/25/2703
Though there is no current CBO score available for the current legislation, similar legislation (H.R. 2938) was found to have no significant impact on the federal budget.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.