Separately, Paula Hart of the BIA's Office of Indian Gaming debunked the issue at a recent conference of journalists sponsored by Syracuse University's Center for Indigenous Law, Governance and Citizenship.
After outlining the ''two-part determination'' process and observing that only three tribes had successfully completed it in its entire history, she
added, ''I have to say I think it's hysteria.''She
said, however, that the bulk of the existing off-reservation casinos - about a dozen - had gone through other procedures.Some, such as the highly successful Seneca Nation of Indians' Class III casino in Niagara Falls, fell under an exception for land claims settlements.Others had been approved by congressional legislation.