Shinnecock casino is no sure thing

The process of getting a casino approved for non-tribal land is not an easy one.

There currently are only four off-reservation Indian gaming facilities in the United States, according to a federal Bureau of Indian Affairs spokesman.

The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 prohibits off-reservation casinos — unless a proposal for one can meet certain criteria for exemptions to the law.

In order for a casino to be built on lands that are not located within a tribe’s reservation, the land in question would have to be taken into trust by the federal government, according to federal law.

According to the 1988 law, exceptions are permitted when the Secretary of the Interior, “after consultation with the Indian tribe and appropriate state and local officials, including officials of other nearby Indian tribes, determines that a gaming establishment on newly acquired lands would be in the best interest of the Indian tribe and its members, and would not be detrimental to the surrounding community.”

Approval from the governor also is needed.

There are more than 30 pending applications for off-reservation casinos nationwide, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.