For Immediate Release ~ March 8, 2004
Contact: Affie Ellis ~ (202) 632-7003
Washington, DC — National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chairman Phil Hogen announced today that the NIGC has selected representatives to serve on a Joint Federal-Tribal Class II Game Classification Standards Advisory Committee.
"In light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to deny petitions for certiorari in United States v. Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska and Ashcroft v. Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, our efforts to provide guidance in distinguishing between Class II and Class III games will be even more important," commented Hogen. He added, "We have selected seven highly knowledgeable people whose combined expertise will be invaluable in developing clear standards that will benefit the entire Indian gaming industry."
Three classes of gaming are defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (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. The Indian gaming industry has been challenged by the difficulty in differentiating between Class II and Class III gaming devices. In the past, the NIGC has issued opinions and bulletins determining the class of individual games; however, this system is not efficient.
As a result, the NIGC decided to form the Joint Federal-Tribal Class II Game Classification Standards Advisory Committee to formulate more definitive technical standards and regulations for distinguishing whether electronic games are Class II or Class III under IGRA. Selected Committee Members will assist the NIGC in the formulation of these standards.
Below is a list of selected committee members:
- Norm Des Rosiers, Commissioner, Gaming Commission, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay
- Mark Garrow, Inspectors Manager, Gaming Commission, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
- Joseph Carlini, Executive Director, Gaming Commission, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla
- Melvin Daniels, General Manager, Muckleshoot Indian Bingo
- Kenneth Ermatinger, Executive Director, Gaming Commission, Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa
- Charles Lombardo, Sr. Vice President of Gaming Operations, Seminole Tribe of Florida
- Jamie Hummingbird, Director, Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission
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.