Lumbee Bill Introduced in Congress
Special Report - January 10, 2007
One of the first bills introduced in the 110th United States Congress would grant full Federal recognition to the Lumbee Indian Tribe of North Carolina and potentially pave the way for a massive gambling casino in the eastern part of the State. House Resolution 65Lumbee Recognition Act, was introduced on January 4 by Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC) and co-sponsored by fellow North Carolina Congressmen Bob Etheridge (D-NC), Robin Hayes (R-NC), Brad Miller (D-NC), David Price (D-NC) and Mel Watt (D-NC).
In addition to providing an estimated $470 million in federal funds over four years for education, health care, housing and other development projects, H.R. 65 would authorize the Lumbee Tribe to seek a gambling compact with the State of North Carolina. Because North Carolina already has a Tribal-State Compact with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, it would be practically impossible to deny a similar arrangement to the Lumbee Tribe, should full Federal recognition be granted. The Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Western North Carolina has become the State’s most visited private tourist attraction, drawing close to 3.3 million visitors per year and an estimated $180 million in profits (in 2004). At least one gambling expert has suggested that a gambling casino in Robeson County, North Carolina, where the Lumbee Tribe is located, could grow into one of the largest casinos in the world due to traffic along the Interstate 95 corridor and the lack of accessible competing gambling venues on the eastern seaboard between New Jersey and Florida.
“A gambling casino in Eastern North Carolina would cannibalize the coastal tourism economy and harm our family-friendly beaches and local commerce,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Congress should not grant full Federal recognition for the Lumbee Tribe unless the bill includes a provision expressly prohibiting the Tribe from conducting gambling operations.”
To read more about the impact expanded Indian gambling will have on the state, download our paper Lumbee Casino Gambling: Would Another Casino Be Good for North Carolina?
Copyright © 2007. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.