PR-54 01-2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau ~ (202) 632-7003

NIGC Enters Settlement Agreement with Individually Owned Gaming Facility on Puyallup Reservation

 

Washington DC, January 24, 2007 — The National Indian Gaming Commission has entered into a settlement agreement with BJ’s Enterprises, Inc. (BJ’s Bingo) and its licensing tribe, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, located in the State of Washington.  The settlement agreement resolves an issue with the amount of gaming profits being transferred from BJ’s Bingo to the Puyallup Tribe, which the NIGC Portland Office (Region I) uncovered during an earlier investigation.  BJ’s Bingo is an individually owned Class II gaming operation that is located within the Puyallup Indian Reservation.

 

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) requires any individually owned Indian gaming operation to give not less than 60% of the facility’s net revenues to the licensing Indian tribe.

 

NIGC field auditors and inspectors determined that BJ’s Bingo was not distributing 60% of its net revenues to the Puyallup Tribe.  However, it was determined that the underpayments were caused primarily by implementation of a problematic worksheet formula that had been approved by the Puyallup Tribal Gaming Commission.  As part of the settlement agreement, the Puyallup Tribe will modify its regulatory formula, and BJ’s Bingo will perform accounting measures every year to ensure that at least 60% of its net revenues are transferred to the Puyallup Tribe.  Any shortfalls will be corrected with an annual reconciliation payment to the Tribe.  

 

NIGC Chairman Phil Hogen said, “We are pleased that this issue has been resolved and we are hopeful that this facility will continue to prosper for both the Puyallup Tribe and BJ’s Bingo.”

 

To view this settlement agreement, please visit the NIGC website at www.nigc.gov and click on reading room, then enforcement actions.

 

The NIGC is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.

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