The National Indian Gaming Commission's proposed regulations for Class II machines are, without a doubt, extremely controversial.
Originally slated for formal issuance in 2005, interagency contestation with the Department of Justice and continued criticism from tribes and games manufacturers considerably slowed the process. Following the initial announcement of the proposed standards, a group of prominent manufacturers formed the Technical Standards Work Group (TSWG) to draft an alternative regulatory scheme to submit to the NIGC. Together with the Technical Standards Tribal Advisory Committee, a group of tribal operators and experts that had been advising the Commission, the TSWG submitted alternative Technical Standards to the NIGC in early 2007. The NIGC announced in 2007 that it would issue the new rules in summer 2007. Months passed, and the NIGC finally issued the revised proposed regulations in late October 2007. A few weeks later, the NIGC announced that it would extend the public comment period on the regulations until January 24, 2008.
Many of the public comments that have been submitted by tribes are critical of the proposed regulations with regard to both substance and process. Procedurally, some tribes have demanded more meaningful consultation with tribal governments under the NIGC's "government-to-government" policy, and also requested a longer public comment period to allow thorough review of the complex proposed regulations and appropriate tribal government responses. Substantively, a number of tribes take issue with a "sea change" in the law regarding Class II gaming, criticizing the regulations as inconsistent with Congress's intent and also noting that current Class II machines comply with federal court cases interpreting IGRA.
The public comments are available at http://www.regulations.gov/: a search for "Class II gaming" will turn up the proposed regulations as well as some additional documents; you can also enter a specific title (Classification Standards for Class II games, Definitions for Electronic or Electromechanical Facsimile, Technical Standards for Class II games and Minimum Internal Control Standards for Class II games). Then, click on "Docket ID" for the proposed regulation you wish to view. The public comment submissions are embedded in the docket, and can be viewed in .pdf form.
Labels: Class II Gaming, Regulation