For Immediate Release ~ October 5, 2005
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau ~ (202) 632-7003
Washington, DC — The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) met today with the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma to celebrate the execution of a pre-opening agreement which establishes conditions under which the Kiowa Tribe plans to re-open a tribal gaming facility. The agreement was signed on behalf of the tribe by Kiowa Tribal Chairman Billy Evans Horse, and on behalf of the NIGC by Commission Chairman, Phil Hogen.
Since June of 2000, the Tribe's gaming facility has been closed due to certain violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The pre-opening agreement sets forth various compliance measures that the Tribe will take as a condition to resuming gaming operations, including measures to address the previous IGRA violations. All measures must be met prior to the NIGC permitting the Tribe to recommence gaming on a probationary basis.
Chairman Hogen stated "the NIGC certainly views the agreement and the Tribe's actions in this connection as a positive step towards the promotion of Tribal economic development and self-sufficiency. Just as importantly, the NIGC wants to ensure that the Tribe, as a whole, is the primary beneficiary of its gaming operations. Candor and transparency by Tribal leadership will be key to the success of the Tribe’s new operations. That is, the leadership will need to keep the Tribal membership well informed with respect to the operation and regulation of its gaming facility.” The NIGC will be closely monitoring the Tribe’s compliance with the pre-opening agreement, and only if the Tribe meets the conditions specified therein will the new operation be permitted to open and operate. Hogen stated he is optimistic the difficulties that led to the prior closure of the Kiowa gaming facility are now behind them, and that their future operations will be in full compliance and successful.
The pre-opening agreement can be viewed on the NIGC website at: http://www.nigc.gov.
The NIGC is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.