|Gale Norton, Interior Sceretary, has said that without effective regulation of Indian gambling the benefits of tribal casinos would be undermined.|
After Time Magazines reports made on the dire regulatory state of Indian gambling Norton’s statement is somewhat belated. Responding to the national publicity her remarks were made before the swearing in of three new members of the National Indian Gaming Commission, including new chairman, Philip Hogen. The new members are an indication of the shake up the federal agency is to receive after it failed to appropriately regulate more than 300 tribal gaming operations that made $13 billion last year.
Despite numerous complaints from tribal members the National Indian Gaming Commission has yet to crack down on a single case of rife corruption exposed by Time’s recent cover story. Since then even columnist William Safire of the New York Times has taken a shot at the commission mocking it as a “toothless tiger.”
All eyes are on Norton to get the Gaming Commission into shape. Rep. Frank Wolf declared that Norton has a 'personal responsibility to deal with this issue and to make proposals to remedy the disaster that is our nation's Indian gambling program.'