For Immediate Release ~ April 1, 2005
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau ~ (202) 632-7003
Washington, DC – The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) announced today that it would hold off scheduling hearings to obtain tribal and public comment on its proposed rule establishing classification and technical standards for Class II gaming played through electronic medium until after it has published the standards as a proposed rule in the Federal Register. The Commission continues to review the written comments it has received from tribes and other interested parties.
The Commission had indicated on its schedule that hearings would be held in San Diego on April 14, 2005, in Oklahoma City on April 19, 2005, and in Washington, D.C. on April 21. 2005. In announcing the postponement, NIGC Chairman Phil Hogen said that “while we want to move forward with a proposed rule, the prudent course of action is to not schedule hearings until after that proposed rule is presented for public comment in the Federal Register as part of the federal rulemaking process. A sixty-day public comment period is contemplated after the proposed rule is published. We will schedule hearings during that period but not until after interested parties have had the opportunity to read and study the proposal.”
The NIGC has been developing the proposed classification and technical standards with assistance from a tribal advisory committee. Current working drafts have been available on the Commission’s website, http://www.nigc.gov. The standards are intended to apply to electronic bingo machine games and pull-tabs sold though “technologic aids” but not affect live “session” bingo conducted by Indian tribes in their Class II gaming operations.
The NIGC is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.