NIGC Hosts Event to Reflect on Past 30 Years of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Mark Gaston
(202) 632-7003

NIGC Hosts Event to Reflect on Past 30 Years of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

WASHINGTON, DC October 16, 2018 – Today the NIGC hosted a conference titled Reflecting on 30 Years of IGRA in Washington DC. Tribal leaders, federal policy-makers, gaming regulators, and Industry experts gathered at NIGC headquarters to participate in a variety of panels and discussion sessions aimed at commemorating and evaluating the impacts of Indian Gaming throughout Indian country during the course of the 30 years since the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which was enacted on October 17, 1988.

The NIGC sponsored the public education event to foster dialogue among key stakeholders about lessons to draw from the history of Indian gaming that can help ensure the continued economic and regulatory health of the Indian gaming industry. The importance of supporting tribal decision-making and regulatory capacity as a key to upholding longstanding federal policies aimed at achieving tribal self-determination emerged as a central theme of the conference.

Speakers shared their reflections on the history of Indian gaming prior to IGRA, the watershed 1987 case of California v. Cabazon, the passage of IGRA, and how tribal nations have – despite IGRA’s significant constrictions on aspects of tribal sovereignty – successfully worked to ensure that gaming remains a vibrant tool of tribal self-determination and economic development.

NIGC leadership shared their observations of the benefits that result when tribal decision-making and tribal capacity are supported, in line with IGRA’s underlying self-determination principles. Speakers also took this time to touch on what the next 30 years of gaming will look like and how the industry has been and will continue to rapidly change.

“The future of Indian gaming is not yet written and policy-makers would do well to build on the self-determination principles that have powered the successes of the last 30 years,” said the Chairman of the NIGC, Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri. “In evaluating the gains made over the last 30 years, we at the NIGC, as regulators, have seen the inarguable benefit of supporting tribal decision-making wherever possible so that the primary regulators of Indian gaming – the Tribes themselves – can pursue effective economic development tailored to their unique histories and landbases consistent with IGRA’s policy goals and regulatory framework,” he said.

For more information, including conference materials and video from the event please go to our website at


The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.  The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.  NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 506 gaming establishments operated by 246 tribes across 29 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $32.4 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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