For Immediate Release ~ January 21, 2004
Washington, DC – National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chairman Phil Hogen announced today that the NIGC is seeking qualified tribal representatives to serve on a Joint Federal-Tribal Class II Game Classification Standards Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will assist the NIGC in formulating more definitive technical standards and regulations for distinguishing whether electronic games are Class II or Class III games under the Indian Regulatory Act (IGRA).
"Tribal Gaming Commissions, Tribal gaming managers, gaming device manufacturers and vendors, as well the NIGC have for too long been challenged by the difficulty in determining whether particular gaming devices qualify as Class II machines, which may be used by tribal gaming operations without Tribal-State Gaming Compacts, or whether those devices are Class III, which may only be utilized when tribes have Compacts with their States," Hogen said. "The entire Indian Gaming industry will be better served if clarity can be brought to this challenging area," Hogen continued, "and in keeping with our commitment to consult with Tribes, we are asking that Tribes nominate the best informed and most experienced tribal gaming professionals to serve with us on an Advisory Committee to help formulate clear standards, which guide the industry in this important area."
Three classes of gaming are defined in the IGRA. Class I games are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the tribes. Class II games are regulated by the tribes and the NIGC. For Class III gaming to be permissible, tribes must enter into Tribal-State compacts.
Tribes interested in recommending a candidate must complete a nomination form, available on-line at www.nigc.gov
Nominations must be received no later than FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2004. Forms should be sent to the attention of Shakira Ferguson, and can be faxed to (202) 632-7066 or mailed to 1441 L Street, NW, Suite 9100, Washington, DC 20005. Advisory Committee members will serve approximately one year.
The National Indian Gaming Commission is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.
January 21, 2004
Re: Joint Federal-Tribal Class II Game Classification Standards Advisory Committee
Dear Tribal Leader:
Advancements in gaming technology and methods create a need to formulate definitive, technical standards for distinguishing whether electronic games are Class II or Class III games under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). In 1999, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) attempted to address this need with a set of proposed regulations. Commenters identified a number of policy and logistical problems with that proposal. Most importantly, they pointed out that the proposed regulations failed to properly recognize the different roles and responsibilities assigned to tribal governments and the NIGC for the regulation of Indian gaming under IGRA. As a result, the NIGC withdrew the proposed 1999 regulations in July 2002 and recommended the establishment of a tribal advisory committee when the NIGC next addressed the issue of game classification standards.
The NIGC has decided to once again address this important issue by developing Class II game classification standards as NIGC regulations. Because these regulations can substantially effect tribal gaming operations, it is essential that the NIGC receive input and assistance from tribes regarding their formulation, along with technical assistance from experts in the field. In accordance with the previous Commission’s recommendation, we intend to facilitate tribal input in the process by establishing a joint federal-tribal advisory committee to assist in the development of the proposed Class II game classification standards. Consistent with our commitment to consultation, the work of this advisory committee will help ensure that tribes, as the operators and primary regulators of Indian gaming under IGRA, have early and meaningful input in the formulation and implementation of these needed regulations that potentially effect their gaming operations. To that end, the NIGC requests the nomination of tribal representatives to serve on the joint committee.
Nominees to the committee should have a firm knowledge and understanding of the provisions of IGRA and current NIGC regulations that impact on gaming classification, along with substantial professional experience working with those provisions as a tribal gaming manager, employee, regulator, or lawyer. Committee nominees should also have a professional level of knowledge regarding the nature and generally recognized principles, rules, methods and variations of play of Class II games, including bingo, pull-tabs, lotto, instant bingo, and other games similar to bingo, as well as banking and non-banking card games, electronic or electromechanical facsimiles of games of chance, and slot machines. In addition, nominees to the committee should also be generally knowledgeable regarding the technical elements of electronic, computer, and other technologic gaming aids and devices, and the generally accepted regulatory standards for confirming their reliability.
Advisory committee members will serve approximately one year and will be asked to review, research, and provide verbal and written comments and recommendations to the NIGC regarding proposed classification standards for distinguishing Class II and Class III gambling games, and related electronic, computer, and other technologic gaming aids and devices. Committee service will require at least 100 hours from each member. Some travel will be required to attend Committee meetings. Two to four such meetings are planned in 2004. The NIGC will cover the members’ related travel expenses for these meetings.
After carefully considering the recommendations and comments of all Advisory Committee members, the Commission will formulate its proposed standards and will consult with tribes before the proposed standards are presented in a formal rulemaking process and offered for public comment. The Committee will continue to advise the NIGC until the consultation and rule making process is completed and the final regulations are implemented.
The charge of this Committee is very important and demanding and, accordingly, will, require dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced members. If your tribe is interested in nominating a tribal representative to the Committee, please complete the enclosed form and return it to the NIGC, attention of Shakira Ferguson, by no later than Monday, February 16, 2004.
Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration of this request. If you have any questions, please call NIGC Acting General Counsel Penny Coleman or Senior Attorney Bill Grant at 202-632-7003.
Philip N. Hogen
Class II Game Classification Standards Tribal Advisory Committee Nomination Form
Click the link below to view the Nomination Form in your browser, then select "File" and then "Save As" to download the Nomination Form to your hard drive. You may also download the form by right clicking on the link and then selecting the "Save Target As..." or "Save Link As..." option.