Hawaii Family Forum Signs Coalition Letter Against Tribal Gambling

November 2, 2021

RE: Opposition to H.R.1619 —The Anywhere, Any Place Casino Act

Dear Chairman Schatz, Ranking Member Murkowski, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell:

We, the undersigned advocacy groups and organizations, write to express our opposition to HR 1619, the Catawba Indian Nation Lands Act. The bill risks creating an anywhere, any place casino gambling policy that could open the door to casinos unapproved by states, localities, and the courts operating in neighborhoods throughout the country.

If passed, H.R .1619 would mark the first time Congress created an off-reservation casino in history. Congress has never done this before because it is not the legislative branch’s role to dictate gambling policy. That is the job of the individual states and,in cases of tribal land-into-trust claims, the courts and experts at the Department of Interior.

Enacting H.R.1619 could set a dangerous precedent where any wealthy gambling mogul with the right political connections can run to Congress to circumvent the Department of Interior’s strict, exacting historical standards that must currently be followed to determine whether each Indian land-into-trust application for casino gambling is legitimate. It would also effectively replace any meaningful legal reviews from the courts of these decisions with a rubber stamp from Congress.

The rule of law and the careful checks and balances that come with it should never be traded in for the conveniences of political expediency. We ask that you stand for federalism, fairness, and the independent judiciary and put the welfare of localities and the families living within them first by dismissing this bill.