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State and tribe to sign gaming compact

PIERRE, S.D. – The state was set to enter into a new 10-year gaming compact with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for its Grand River Casino near Mobridge.

Gov. Mike Rounds and tribal officials were to sign the agreement June 2 at the casino.

The agreement spells out the terms and conditions for the tribe to operate the casino, such as the number of gaming machines or blackjack tables, and bet limits.

The compact between the Standing Rock Tribe and the state was last amended in 2001.

A 1988 federal law says tribes can conduct the same kind of gambling that is allowed elsewhere in a state after they negotiate a gaming compact with the state.

Tribes in South Dakota began negotiating compacts to run their own casinos after state voters approved limited stakes gambling in Deadwood in 1989.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is the only tribe among the nine in the state that does not have casino gaming.

Nearly all the other gaming compacts have been in effect for a dozen years or more. Generally they are up for renewal after four or five years.

“Most of the compacts are pretty similar in what they include,” said Meghan Dilges, of the attorney general’s office. “Most of the compacts have been extended since they were initially entered into in the early ’90s.”

Compacts with the Yankton Sioux Tribe and the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate were recently renewed for another four years.

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Three other compacts are up for renewal this year and one is the subject of a lawsuit in federal court.

“Most have automatic renewal where if neither party says they want changes they automatically renew,” said Assistant Attorney General John Guhin.

The governor appoints someone to negotiate on his behalf with a tribe, and the attorney general’s office advises the governor’s representative.

The status of compacts with the other eight tribes in South Dakota, according to the attorney general’s office:

• Cheyenne River Sioux – none. A compact agreed to in 1993 by the state and tribe expired because the tribe has not built a casino. The two sides reopened the process with a single meeting in late 2007.

• Flandreau Santee Sioux – in litigation. The tribe alleges the state has failed to negotiate in good faith on a new compact.

• Lower Brule Sioux – automatic and indefinite extension unless either party wishes to renegotiate.

• Oglala Sioux – extended until June 30, 2009.

• Rosebud Sioux – extended until Sept. 6, 2009.

• Crow Creek Sioux – extended until Dec. 1, 2009.

• Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate – extended until August 2012.

• Yankton Sioux – extended until May 4, 2013.





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