Saturday, February 17, 2007

Washington in brief : ICT [2007/02/16]

Washington in brief : ICT [2007/02/16]:
Gaming commission pulls plug on Class II Regulations

The National Indian Gaming Commission announced Feb. 9 that controversial new regulations on Class II gaming, announced last year, will be withdrawn.

At the prodding of the Justice Department, the regulations sought to redefine the line between Class II games, such as bingo and pull-tabs, and Class III slot machines. The commission contended that technological advances in gaming machines have blurred the line.

Tribes have responded that the commission's plans to slow down the pace of Class II action would decrease the revenue stream from Class II machines, in part by reducing the number of plays per machine and in part by driving clients to more entertaining venues. A study commissioned by NIGC substantially seconded tribal fears of economic setbacks under the proposed new regulations.

''We remain committed to bringing consideration of these important issues to an early conclusion,'' said NIGC Chairman Phil Hogen in a statement on the NIGC Web site, ''but as it is likely that our finished product would depart in several areas from that published in the Federal Register in 2006, we are withdrawing those earlier proposals. We are busily working on revisions. If and when we finish those ... new drafts would be published as proposed regulations and further comment would be solicited before they are finalized.'' "
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