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Lost in the Shuffle: State-Recognized Tribes and the Tribal Gaming Industry

60 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2006  

Alexa Koenig

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law; University of San Francisco

Jonathan Stein

Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe


This article presents the emerging argument that Native American tribes that have received state but not federal recognition have a legal right to engage in gaming under state law. This argument is based on five points: that 1) the regulation of gaming is generally a state right; 2) state tribes are sovereign governments with the right to game, except as preempted by the federal government; 3) federal law does not preempt gaming by state tribes; 4) state tribal gaming does not violate Equal Protection guarantees; and 5) significant policy arguments weigh in favor of gaming by state tribes under state law.

Keywords: indian, gaming, equal protection, federal preemption, tribes

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Koenig, Alexa and Stein, Jonathan, Lost in the Shuffle: State-Recognized Tribes and the Tribal Gaming Industry. University of San Francisco Law Review, 2006. Available at SSRN:

Alexa Koenig (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

University of San Francisco ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

Jonathan Stein

Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe ( email )

501 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste. 500
Santa Monica, CA 90401-2490
United States
310-587-2203 (Phone)
310-587-2281 (Fax)

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