A Ute Business Committee member suggested Wednesday the tribe begin a lottery, print its own vehicle licenses and impose registration fees to generate revenue for the reservation.
Economic development on the 2,500-member Uintah-Ouray Reservation, long suffering under 85 percent unemployment rates, was a central topic during a get-acquainted session between tribal leaders and Gov. Norm Bangerter.While Bangerter hailed Ute Manufacturing Ltd., which makes containers for the military, as a good example of improving the reservation economy, Business Committee Member Stewart Pike proposed another money maker: a lottery.
"A lot of tribes are doing it, and it brings in revenue to run the tribe," he told the governor during an afternoon meeting.
Indian tribes have sovereign immunity and can conduct gambling as long as Congress doesn't pass laws preventing them from doing so. Recently, Congress established an Indian Gaming Commission to prevent infiltration of organized crime into reservation gambling.
Luke Duncan, elected last month in a wave of discontent on the reservation in part because of poor economic conditions there, also proposed a reservation license plate and various registration fees to generate revenue.