NIGC Publishes Rule-Making Agenda

by Brad Jolly, Partner
Dec 15, 2006

The National Indian Gaming Commission ("NIGC") has updated its proposed rule-making agenda. In its semi-annual regulatory agenda, the NIGC has listed seven rules in the proposed stage, three in the final stage, five in long-term development, and one rule as completed.

The NIGC's proposed rule on the approval of management contracts has been pushed from the proposed stage to long-term action.

The agency's proposed rule governing the use of gaming revenues has been pushed up to the proposed stage.

The agency has also placed "Gaming Facility and Site Licensing Standards" in the proposed rule stage. These rules would apparently, at least in part, require that a tribe certify its gaming facility is on "Indian lands," as that term is defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ("IGRA").

A rule to define "sole proprietary interest" was also advanced to the proposed rule stage. While IGRA requires tribes to have the sole proprietary interest in gaming operations on their lands, neither the IGRA or current NIGC regulations define precisely what that means, especially when a management company or other third party becomes involved in the financing of the operation or receives a cut of net revenues from the operation.

The notice also places debt collection regulations, a new definition of key employee, amendments to Privacy Act procedures, and audit standards in the proposed rule stage.

Three regulations are included in the final rules stage. First, is technical amendments to the Minimum Internal Control Standards ("MICS"), the class III aspect of which have been struck down by a federal court. The other two are the NIGC's controversial proposed rules which would alter what games are considered to be similar to be bingo.

In addition to moving the management contract regulations to long-term action, the NIGC has listed new hearings and appeals procedures, tribal background investigation submissions, administrative fees, and civil fines updates on its long-term agenda.

For more detailed information, you can download the Federal Register notice directly.

© 2006 Brad S. Jolly & Associates, LLC