For Immediate Release
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau
NIGC Announces 2008 Preliminary Fee Rate
Temecula, CA, March 6, 2008– Today the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) announced that it would decrease the rate of the fees it assesses on tribal gaming activities from .059%, to .057%. This equates to 57 cents per $1,000 of gross gaming revenue, which is the amount patrons bet at tribal gaming facilities, less the amounts paid out to winners as prizes. These fees apply only to tribes with gross gaming revenues in excess of $1.5 million per year, as smaller facilities are exempt.
A Federal Court reduced NIGC’s oversight of Class III gaming, which generates more than 90% of the nearly $26 billion tribal gaming generates annually. Nonetheless, the Commission continues to perform most of the oversight functions it has traditionally provided. The NIGC's role has never been day-to-day regulation. The primary regulators are the tribes that operate the gaming facilities.
"While we are reducing the fees imposed," Commission Chairman Phil Hogen stated, "the amounts available to the Commission will actually increase. This is on account of the continued growth of the industry and the revenues upon which the fees are assessed, as well as the fact that the Commission has operated very efficiently in the past year and will be able to carry over dollars to fund the Commission's '08 activities."
The Commission projected a budget of $21 million for its FY 2008 operations, and the reduced fee rate and carryover amounts will adequately fund that
budget. The Commission projects that the fees will generate $15.5 million, and that carryover reimbursable funds will fund $5.1 million of the budget.
"We know the dollars that Tribes don't have to send to NIGC will be used to meet tribal needs, and many of those remain unmet," Hogen stated. "Thus, we attempt to operate very efficiently, and not assess any more fees on Tribal gaming than is absolutely necessary."
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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