For Immediate Release
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau ~ (202) 632-7003
NIGC and Puyallup Tribe Reach Settlement Regarding Per Capita Payments
Washington DC, October 13, 2006 — The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians have entered a Settlement Agreement resolving an NIGC enforcement action brought against the Puyallup Tribe regarding how the Tribe allocates gaming funds to its tribal members.
The Settlement Agreement, which was signed by NIGC Chairman Philip Hogen and Puyallup Vice-Chairman Henry John, requires the Tribe to comply with the limitation in its Revenue Allocation Plan (RAP). The RAP declares the amount of money the Tribe may distribute to tribal members. Under this agreement, the Tribe must use no more than 35.4% of its annual net gaming revenue for per capita payments to its tribal members – the same limitation that appears in the Tribe’s current RAP. This could change if the Tribe submits an amended RAP to the Department of the Interior and receives approval.
In June, the NIGC issued a Notice of Violation to the Puyallup Tribe, alleging that the Tribe had exceeded its 35.4% per capita limitation during each of the last three fiscal years by using between 64.6% and 83.7% of its net gaming revenue for per capita payments.
The Settlement Agreement also requires the Tribe to comply with two other provisions in its RAP that govern distributions to tribal minors and members who are considered legally incompetent. In addition, the Settlement Agreement resolves the NIGC’s concerns involving tribal compliance with its own rules and procedures for making loans to tribal members, giving payroll advances to tribal officials and employees, and cashing-out annual leave for tribal officials and employees.
NIGC Chairman Phil Hogen commented “the NIGC is gratified at the Tribe’s cooperation in bringing this important matter to resolution. The distribution of tribal gaming revenues is a matter that is coming under increasing scrutiny throughout the nation. All tribes need to be vigilant to comply with terms of their approved distribution plans.”
Puyallup Settlement Agreement
The NIGC is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.