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Tribe: State misunderstands its plans for limited poker tournament play

Coeur d’Alene Tribal Chairman Chief Allan, in an April 28 letter to state Lottery Commission Director Jeff Anderson, said the state’s objections the tribe’s plans to offer poker games at its Coeur d’Alene Casino appear to stem from “a misunderstanding of both the games that the Tribe plans to offer and the Tribe’s federal rights under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”

Wrote Allan, “The Tribe’s Gaming Board has taken a very conservative approach and has authorized only a limited type of poker tournament.”

He noted, “There is no question that such tournaments are conducted at many locations throughout the State. … We believe that the State’s concerns will be resolved once it understands the limited nature of the poker tournaments to be offered by the Tribe and the legal authority for such tournaments.”

Plus, Allan added that the tribe would like to discuss with the Lottery Commission the implications of the passage of legislation this year authorizing betting on slot-machine-like “instant racing” machines at several locations in the state, including the Greyhound Park in Post Falls. Years ago, the tribe sought to operate a casino there, but backed off after then-Gov. Phil Batt objected. Allan wrote that this year’s legislation will “dramatically expand gaming in Idaho.”

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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