With more than 1,000 pages in a report issued following six tribal consultations across the country, the National Indian Gaming Commission has laid out a plan that will dramatically reduce the oversight of the commission.
Dave Palermo, writing in GamblingCompliance, quotes Jason Giles, legal counsel with the National Indian Gaming Association.
“These consultations are shaping the future of Class II gaming, minimum internal control standards, regulations that impact day-to-day operations,” Giles said. “They’re looking at all regulations, particularly in these areas.”
The NIGC has long had an adversarial relationship with tribes, but not often as heated as with the last commission, led by Phil Hogen. Prior to Hogen’s departure, the commission was set to unilaterally impose Class II regulations that would have severely changed the definition of the machines, making many of them illegal. Multiple consultations were held with tribes but no consensus could be reached, leading Hogen to decide to impose standards. NIGC?Chairwoman Tracie Stevens delayed implementation of that order and is likely to reverse it when the final regulations are released.
In fact, the majority of the changes suggested in the report will weaken the commission’s powers, giving the tribes more recourse in challenging commission rulings, making it easier to get management contracts approved, clearing the path to self-regulation and much more.
The long-winded debate over whether the NIGC has authority over Class III gaming will be downplayed under this commission. That authority was challenged by the Colorado River Indian Tribes when the commission sought to impose minimum internal controls standards on Class III gaming. A court ruled in favor of CRIT and Stevens says that one size may not fit all.
“I’m not sure a blanket regulation is going to work,” she told a consultation hearing in Northern California.