For Immediate Release
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau ~ (202) 632-7003
NIGC Releases Economic Impact Studies
Washington DC, November 6, 2006 — On May 25th of this year the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) proposed regulations for the classification of gaming devices used in tribal operations pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The NIGC has concluded that there is currently a lack of clarity in distinguishing between Class II gaming devices, equipment tribes may use to conduct or play Bingo and similar games that do not require gaming compacts with States, from Class III slot machine-like games, which may only be played pursuant to compacts Tribes negotiate with States pursuant to the IGRA.
NIGC is concerned that large numbers of devices currently used by some Tribes as Class II devices may actually fall within the Class III category. To address this concern, NIGC has proposed regulations which would draw a more distinct line between the Classes.
As drafted, the proposed regulations would, in many cases, require more time for players to play the games, thereby reducing the number of games which could be played in given amounts of time, and thereby reducing income Tribes currently generate from some of the games as they are now played.
In evaluating impacts of their proposal, the NIGC commissioned two analytical reports to analyze the economic impact of the proposed classification regulations which have been posted on the NIGC website (www.nigc.gov)
The first report was prepared by Alan Meister of the Analysis Group. They were commissioned to conduct an independent study of the potential economic impact of the proposed Class II regulations on the Indian gaming industry. Specifically, the question was asked to identify the potential economic impacts and, to the extent possible, quantify them on an aggregate nationwide basis.
The second report was prepared by BMM North America. BMM was asked to develop a bingo simulator that would represent class II bingo games. The simulator has a number of parameters that enable the game to be customized to specific playing conditions. BMM ran a number of simulations with nominated parameters that match various options under considerations in the proposed class II regulations. The report is a summary of the findings of the various simulations.
The public comment period on proposed Class II definitions, classification standards and technical regulations will close November 15, 2006. The NIGC will accept comments on the economic impact analysis until December 15, 2006.
The NIGC is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.