NIGA calling for more consultation on SCIA's online gaming bill

Tribes weren't consulted about provisions in the draft of the Tribal Online Gaming Act, the leader of the National Indian Gaming Association said on Thursday.

In August 2011, NIGA adopted six principles to guide Internet gaming legislation in Indian Country. The National Congress of American Indians also supports the principles.

“While it seems that attempts were made to conform to the principles set forth in the resolutions unanimously adopted by NIGA and NCAI, Indian Country was not consulted on the details of this discussion draft," NIGA Chairman Ernie Steven Jr., said yesterday.

Stevens said tribes are still studying he draft, which was first released at a NIGA meeting in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. He indicated major changes will be required if it ever gets introduced in the Senate.

"The current draft unfortunately falls short of meeting our principles," Stevens said. "So we have work to do.”

The tribal principles follow:
• Indian tribes are sovereign governments with a right to operate, regulate, tax, and license Internet gaming, and those rights must not be subordinated to any non-federal authority.
• Internet gaming authorized by Indian tribes must be available to customers in any locale where Internet gaming is not criminally prohibited.
• Consistent with long-held federal law and policy, tribal Internet gaming revenues must not be subject to tax.
• Existing tribal government rights under Tribal-State Compacts and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act must be respected.
• The legislation must not open up the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act for amendments.
• Federal legalization of Internet gaming must provide positive economic benefits for Indian country.

Summary of SCIA Internet gaming bill | Draft of SCIA Internet gaming bill

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