For Immediate Release ~ July 10, 2006
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau ~ (202) 632-7003
NIGC SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH TONKAWA TRIBE OF OKLAHOMA
Washington DC, July 10, 2006 —The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) entered into a pre-opening/settlement agreement with the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma. The agreement was signed by Anthony Street, President of the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma.
The agreement sets forth various compliance measures that the Tribe will take as a condition of resuming gaming operations at the Tonkawa Bingo and Casino and commencing gaming at its new Native Lights casino.
In February of this year, the NIGC issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) and Order of Temporary Closure (CO) to the Tribe, Edward E. Street and Oakland Enterprises for managing a gaming facility (Tonkawa Casino) without a management contract. The Tribe promptly complied with the CO and began negotiations with the NIGC to settle the NOV and discuss conditions for opening a new facility. The new facility is located on tribal lands in Newkirk Oklahoma. Chairman Hogen stated “I am optimistic that the regulatory framework the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma has put in place will ensure future compliance with IGRA and NIGC regulations.” On July 6, 2006, investigators from the NIGC Tulsa Office performed a pre-opening inspection of the Native Lights casino, at the conclusion of which the Tribe was given approval to open the facility.
Under the agreement the Tribe will pay a $1 million fine and exclude certain individuals from taking part in any tribal gaming ventures. Additionally, the Tribe agreed to a 5 year monitoring period during which if the NIGC finds substantial violations of IGRA the closure order may be reinstated. To view the agreement, please visit the NIGC website at 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.