Former National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman Philip Hogen last month told a Senate committee that corruption is more likely after a 2006 court decision. He was speaking before Senator Byron Dorgan’s Indian Affairs Committee’s oversight hearings.
Hogen specifically mentioned Oklahoma as a state that is vulnerable to corruption because its regulatory infrastructure is not as extensive as in other states. It is also vulnerable because, unlike other Indian gaming states, it mixes Class II and Class III gaming.
Senator John McCain, who has for many years made Indian gaming enforcement a special interest of his, commented, “I think we need to stay on top of this because there are many experts on gaming who believe there will be some scandals because of the lack of the kind of oversight and regulation that exists in the state of Nevada.”
He said if enforcement of Indian gaming regulations only affected Indians, he would be less insistent upon it. “If it were strictly an Indian operation, I would be less inclined to be trying to repair this loophole that has been created,” he said.
Hogen criticized the 2006 Colorado River court decision, which removed the NIGC from much of the enforcement of Class III gaming.
The recently installed NIGC Chairman Tracie Stevens said she wants to complete a review of the effects of the decision on the 28 states that have Indian gaming before making a statement about it. “It’s complicated,” she said.