The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC or commission) last week announced the issuance of a certificate of self-regulation to the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
When Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988, they specifically included a provision that creates a process for a tribe to petition the NIGC to become self-regulated if a level of regulatory excellence is demonstrated.
Under the IGRA and commission regulations, self-regulation status is only granted to a tribe that can demonstrate it has satisfied the applicable requirements, which include a three-year review to ensure its gaming activity have been in compliance with the IGRA, NIGC regulations, and the tribe’s laws and regulations.
“The Seminole Tribe has built not only an impressive gaming operation, but also an extraordinary regulatory structure to oversee that gaming. Being granted a certificate of self-regulation is a tremendous accomplishment. I congratulate the Tribe for being the first Tribe to achieve self-regulation under the new regulations,” said Acting Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri.
A tribe also must show that it effectively accounts for all gaming revenue; that it has a reputation for a safe, fair and honest operation; that it is free of criminal or dishonest activities; that its gaming operation is operated on a fiscally sound basis; and that it has adequate systems for accounting, investigations, licensing and enforcement.
“Tribal sovereignty is important to the 4,000 members of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and achieving self-regulation status from the National Indian Gaming Commission underscores that sovereignty,” said James E. Billie, Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. “I want to thank the Seminole Tribal Gaming Commission and the Seminole Tribal Council for working hard to establish the regulations, policies and procedures that made self-regulation possible. I also want to thank the NIGC for working with the tribe through this process. Today is another great day for the Seminole Tribe, which is honored to continue its leadership in Indian gaming.”
“As the director of the commission’s Office of Self-Regulation, I had the responsibility to oversee the self-regulation review process. This exhaustive assessment required the tribe to dedicate many resources over the past year, but it was necessary to ensure the stringent requirements of IGRA and NIGC regulations are met. We spent several months reviewing the Tribe’s gaming regulatory structure and I commend the tribe for setting such an impressive standard for the industry,” said NIGC Associate Commissioner Daniel Little.
The National Indian Gaming Commission is committed to the prompt and efficient regulation of the Indian gaming industry, which spans more than 480 gaming establishments, associated with 242 tribes across 28 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the $28 billion Indian gaming industry. For more information, visit www.nigc.gov.