NIGC Holds Regulations Hearings
The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) is continuing its efforts to better distinguish the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) standards for technological aids, which Indian Tribes may utilize to play bingo and similar Class II games without a Tribal-State compact, from slot machines and electronic facsimiles of games of chance which are Class III devices, and require Tribes to compact with State governments to play. In this connection, NIGC will hold a public hearing session with Tribal leaders, representatives of State interests, and gaming industry representatives to receive comments on proposed Class II regulations. This public session will be held at 10:00 am, September 19, 2006, at the Department of the Interior Main Auditorium, 1849 C Street Northwest, Washington, DC. "The Commission has tremendous respect for Tribal sovereignty and acknowledges that the process of consulting with Tribes on classification standards over the last several weeks has been very productive and helpful. In that light, we believe it will be useful to receive further input from Tribal leaders, as well others who participate in the Indian gaming industry. This public hearing is important in meeting the goal of having a full discussion by including all who may be affected by the proposed regulations." Chairman Phil Hogen stated.
Chairman Hogen added, "The consultations have added to the many hours of important comment by the Federal-Tribal Advisory Committee assembled in 2004 to advise the NIGC in formulating technical standards and classification standards."
Between March of 2003 and March of 2006, the NIGC has sent over 500 separate invitations to individual Tribes to consult on a government-to-government basis and provide input on these and other proposed regulations. Many Tribes accepted this invitation. In fact, during this three year period, over 300 separate government-to-government consultations were conducted between the Commission and individual Tribes and their leaders or representatives. In the last 20 days, the Commission has met with over forty-eight Tribes to discuss the proposed Class II regulations.
Notice of this public hearing will be published in the Federal Register on August 4, 2006. This public hearing will be transcribed and will be available on our website following the proceeding.