A Whole New Game: Recognizing the Changing Complexion of Indian Gaming by Removing the “Governor’s Veto” for Gaming on “After-Acquired Lands”

The recent explosive growth of the Indian gaming industry and judicial decisions analyzing a portion of the governing statute point to an inherent flaw in the mechanism provided by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) for the establishment of off-reservation gaming enterprises. This Note argues for a reform of the so-called “after-acquired lands” provision of IGRA, which would remove the governor’s concurrence requirement and place the decision to allow Indian gaming off-reservation into the negotiating process between states and tribes, as another term to be negotiated between sovereigns. Such a reform would allow states and tribes alike to extract their best possible respective deals, while at the same time ensuring maximum respect for state and tribal sovereignty. The Note concludes by proposing statutory language to accomplish this task.