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Published August 02, 2012, 09:56 AM

Three Affiliated Tribes wants riverboat gambling

NEW TOWN, N.D. (AP) — A Three Affiliated Tribes official says the tribe plans to offer riverboat gambling on a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

NEW TOWN, N.D. (AP) — A Three Affiliated Tribes official says the tribe plans to offer riverboat gambling on a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota.

A provision in a new agreement the tribe is negotiating with the state would allow for the expansion of Fort Berthold Reservation gambling, which Tribal Chairman Tex Hall said would provide another opportunity for the tribally owned 4 Bears Casino west of New Town.

"With the oil boom and increased economics, our customers and patrons are asking for it," he told the Minot Daily News.

Tribal gambling in North Dakota is regulated under tribal-state agreements known as compacts, the first of which were signed in 1992. They expire this year and extensions are being negotiated. A draft of the new compact for the Three Affiliated Tribes would allow riverboat gambling on Lake Sakakawea within the boundaries of the Fort Berthold Reservation.

"The argument that Tex made to the governor was essentially one of fairness," said Jerod Tufte, Gov. Jack Dalrymple's attorney. The Spirit Lake Nation's gambling compact allows that tribe to conduct gambling on Devils Lake, though the tribe has not done it yet.

Three Affiliated Tribes spokeswoman Glenda Embry said that tribe's plan is for a riverboat casino that would make stops at recreation areas from the 4 Bears Casino area to Charging Eagle Bay, picking up customers along the way.

It will be at least a month before the new compact is finalized and approved by the tribe and state, Tufte said.

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