Tuesday, June 03, 2008

NIGA panel pans proposed Class II gaming regulations

NIGA panel pans proposed Class II gaming regulations:
"The proposals deal with classification standards, definitions, minimum internal control standards and technical standards for Class II games -- bingo, lotto, pull-tabs and others -- that are played using 'electronic, computer or other technological aids.'
The changes center on what distinguishes Class II gaming machines with bingo-based games from Class III slot machines, an important distinction since tribes can profitably conduct Class II gaming without a tribal-state compact or profit-sharing with the states. Class III gaming requires a tribal-state compact; and although the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act does not mandate payments to the state in Class III compacts, a cut of the tribe's profits has come to be part of the deal.
The real core of the controversy is the issue of control over tribal economic development.
Homer and Teresa Paust, a panel member who also served at the commission, changed the definitions of the terms 'electro-mechanical facsimile, electronic aids, and games similar to bingo' during their tenure at NIGC in response to several court cases. The changes resulted in an increase in income of approximately $2 billion a year in Indian country for the past five years, Homer said.
'That's because by clarifying the law with regard to what this terminology means, we also clarified that electronically aided Class II gaming is legal and is authorized under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.'
Now the commission wants to change those definitions."
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