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Indians vs The Constitution They are Native Americans who are trying to build better lives for themselves but are stopped in there tracks by the state supreme court Proposition 5 passed in November of 98 which would allow more gambling in the Indian reservations The proposition was ruled to be unconstitutional Now the Indians are rebutting the fact that they are sovereign and the ballot was passed Under existing law Indian tribes operate as semi-sovereign nations and are liable under federal law only Recently the long-standing political and legal tension between the Indians and the government which has characterized the relationship since colonization has entered into the debate over tribal gaming Indian gaming is not new to California In fact tribes have been performing gambling operations on tribal lands since the late 1970s What began as a small-time operation with a couple of bingo games and card tables has grown into a lucrative industry There are currently no revenue estimates for tribal gaming the best estimation is that Indian gambling generates hundreds of millions of dollars McCormick Much of the current conflict can be traced to voter approval of Proposition 37 in 1984 which enacted the California State Lottery State authorization of gambling provided the California Indians with leverage to justify their gaming operations However as tribal gaming facilities grew they began to violate state laws regarding hours of operation sizes of prizes offered and licensing requirements State officials contended that the Indians were violating California law which prohibits Nevada and New Jersey-style casino gambling The state relied on federal law which authorized state jurisdiction over certain activities on Indian lands But the Indians won The United States Supreme Court decided that the state could not prohibit the Indians from conducting gambling since it promoted legalized gambling through the state lottery Levin One year after this court decision Congress enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act IGRA which regulates Indian gaming throughout
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