Indian Gaming is the single biggest income producer for Indian tribes in the United States. And it has seen explosive growth from small bingo games that started in the 1970s on some reservations.
Initially, the states tried to control Indian Gaming and filed lawsuits to support their right of control. The courts, then Congress got into the act and, with all of the complexity introduced; Indian Gaming Law became a legal focal point of its own.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
In 1988, the congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. While some of the act has been successfully challenged in court, the Act lays out a general regulatory framework that is the basis for most Indian Gaming Law.
Indian Gaming Classes and Jurisdiction
Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, there are three levels of Indian gaming, each with different jurisdictions.
Simple, traditional, social types of gaming with minimal value are considered Class I gaming and are under the control of the Tribes.
Bingo and Lotto style games – electronic or not – are Class II and must conform to any state laws – but are under the jurisdiction of the tribe and a National Indian Gaming Commission.
Class III consists of anything else and is where large Indian Casino operations fall. Class III gaming is regulated by compacts between the tribes and states and is overseen by the Secretary of the Interior and the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Indian Gaming Law Legal Advice
Obviously, with all of these different entities involved, Indian Gaming Law can get very complex. And each individual Tribal-State compact (if any) may further complicate matters.
Your one-hour initial consultation is free
If you have any issues related to Indian Gaming Law, it is prudent that you consult a knowledgeable attorney. Arizona Indian Gaming Law Attorney Brian Utsey is available to guide you through this challenging area