Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act - Establishes Federal standards for gaming activity within Indian reservations and on Indian lands.
Makes gaming illegal on lands acquired by the Secretary of the Interior in trust for any Indian tribe after the date of enactment of this Act, if:
(1) the lands are outside of or not contiguous to an existing reservation; or
(2) the lands are outside of a tribe's last recognized reservation, or not contiguous to property held in trust for the tribe, for tribes which do not have a current reservation.
Provides that such provisions shall not apply to gaming by State and local officials.
Applies provisions of the Internal Revenue Code concerning the taxation, reporting, and withholding of taxes to the operation of gaming on Indian lands as they would apply to State operations.
Establishes the National Indian Gaming Commission within the Department of the Interior. Authorizes the Commission Chairman to:
(1) issue orders of temporary closure of gaming activities;
(2) levy and collect civil fines;
(3) approve tribal ordinances regulating gaming; and
(4) approve management contracts for gaming.
Authorizes the Commission to:
(1) approve an annual budget;
(2) adopt regulations for assessing civil fines;
(3) adopt annual assessments;
(4) authorize the Chairman to issue subpoenas; and
(5) make permanent a temporary order of the Chairman closing a gaming activity.
Requires the Commission to monitor Indian gaming activities, inspect all premises where gaming occurs, and conduct background investigations.
Provides that class I gaming (social or traditional Indian gaming) shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Indian tribes and shall not be subject to this Act. Provides that Class II (bingo or lotto) and Class III (all other forms) gaming shall be within the jurisdiction of Indian tribes, subject to this Act, where the State permits the gaming activity and it is not otherwise specifically prohibited on Indian lands by Federal laws.
Permits a tribe to conduct and regulate Class II gaming if it adopts an ordinance which is approved by the Commission Chairman. Requires the Chairman to approve any such ordinance if it provides that:
(1) only the tribe shall own the gaming activity;
(2) net revenues are used only for specific purposes to benefit the tribe;
(3) the tribe submits annual independent audits of gaming activity;
(4) contracts exceeding $25,000 (except for legal or accounting services) are subject to independent audits;
(5) construction and maintenance of the gaming facility will meet applicable environmental, health and safety standards; and
(6) an adequate system exists for conducting background investigations on management officials and key employees.
Allows tribal licensing or regulation of Class II gaming activities owned by individuals or entities outside the tribe, provided the final requirements are at least as restrictive as State law.
Provides that Indian tribal ordinances regulating Class II gaming activities will be deemed approved by the Chairman 60 days after their submission if the Chairman does not act on them within such period.
Allows certain tribes currently operating a Class II gaming activity to petition the Commission for a certificate of self-regulation.
Requires the Commission to issue such a certificate if it makes certain findings relating to the past history of the operation and the existing procedures of the tribe for self regulation.
Requires tribes with a certificate of self-regulation to submit an annual independent audit and a resume on all employees hired after issuance of the certificate.
Authorizes the Commission to remove a certificate of self-regulation for just casue.
Authorizes an Indian tribe to engage in Class III gaming if:
(1) it adopts an ordinance meeting requirements of a Class II ordinance;
(2) the ordinance is approved by the Commission; and
(3) it obtains a license from the Commission. Requires the Commission to grant a license to any applicant unless it makes a specified finding of the applicant's inability to operate the gaming activity in accordance with standards under this Act and Commission gaming codes.
Authorizes the Commission to suspend, modify, or revoke a Class III license if it concludes the operator cannot satisfy the required standards.
Requires the Commission to act on a Class III license application within 120 days.
Requires the Chairman to adopt a comprehensive regulatory scheme for Class III gaming activity in any case where he first approves a Class III ordinance within any State. Requires that regulations for Class III gaming be identical to those provided for the same activity by the State where the activity occurs, with specified exceptions.
Requires that if any State law or regulation adopted by the Commission contains criminal penalties, they will be enforceable by:
(1) the State where it has criminal jurisdiction over Indian reservations; or
(2) the United States, as if such penalties were part of the State's laws.
Prohibits the prosecution of a Class III ordinance violation by the State if the Indian tribe has adopted the regulation and prosecuted a person for a violation.
Authorizes tribes to make management contracts for Class II and Class III gaming activity, provided the Chairman receives:
(1) information concerning the background, past experience with gaming contracts, and financial statements for each person having a financial interest in or management responsibility for the contract; and
(2) all collateral agreements made in connection with the contract.
Requires any management contract to provide for:
(1) adequate accounting procedures;
(2) access to the daily operations of the gaming to tribal officials;
(3) a minimum guaranteed payment to the tribe;
(4) a ceiling for the repayment of development and construction costs;
(5) a contract term not to exceed seven years; and
(6) grounds for terminating the contract.
Authorizes the Chairman to approve a management contract providing for a fee based on a reasonable percentage not to exceed 40 percent of the net revenues of a tribal gaming activity.
Provides that management contracts will be deemed to have been approved if the Chairman does not act on them within 120 days of submission.
Prohibits the Chairman from approving a contract if:
(1) any person having a financial interest in or management responsibility for the contract is a member of the tribe's governing body, has been convicted of any felony or gaming offense, has knowingly and willfully provided the Commission with materially important false statements or information or has refused to respond to questions, or has a previous history which would pose a threat to the honest operation of a gaming enterprise;
(2) the management contractor has unduly influenced the tribal government; or
(3) a trustee would not approve the contract.
Authorizes the Chairman to require contract modifications or to void a contract if he finds substantial violations by the contractor of the law or Commission regulations.
Requires the Chairman to license all management employees of a gaming operation.
Directs the Chairman to grant a license application unless he determines that the applicant:
(1) has been convicted of a relevant felony or gaming offense;
(2) willfully provided false statements to the Commission or the tribe pursuant to this Act; or
(3) poses a threat to the effective regulation of gaming.
Authorizes the Chairman to revoke the license of a licensee no longer complying with such requirements.
Directs the Chairman to review ordinances authorizing Class II or III gaming and management contracts made before the organization of the Commission and to either approve them or notify the appropriate tribe of any modifications needed to meet statutory requirements.
Requires the Commission to review and act on new management contracts within 120 days after submission.
Prohibits tribes from using the provisions of this Act as independent grounds for terminating an existing contract if the contractor agrees to modify it to comply with the requirements of this Act. Authorizes the Chairman to collect civil fines of up to $25,000 per violation of Commission regulations or this Act by a tribal operator or management contractors engaged in gaming.
Allows the Chairman to close Indian gaming activities for substantial violations of the Commission's regulations or this Act. Requires the Commission to issue to tribal operators and management contractors a complaint with respect to:
(1) violations that may result in such a fine or closure; or
(2) activity that may result in the modification or termination of any management contract.
Permits the Commission to authorize the Chairman to issue subpoenas.
Sets forth recordkeeping requirements and the investigatory authority of the Attorney General under this Act. Requires at least one half of the Commission's budget to be derived from assessments of Class II and III gaming.
Requires the Commission to annually adopt the rate of assessment.
Authorizes appropriations for the Commission. Directs the Secretary to take into trust for the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida specified land in Dade County, Florida. Allows Class II gaming on such land.