National Indian Gaming Commission slated to get a third member

From left: Kathryn Isom-Clause, Jonodev Chaudhuri and E. Sequoyah Simermeyer. Photo of Isom-Clause from LinkedIn; Photos of Chaudhuri and Simermeyer from National Indian Gaming Commission

For the first time in a little over three years, the National Indian Gaming Commission will finally get a third member.

Kathryn Isom-Clause, an attorney and member of Taos Pueblo, is slated to join the agency after a public comment period that ends March 9. Her appointment was announced in the Federal Register on Monday.

Isom-Clause is "well qualified to be a member of the National Indian Gaming Commission by virtue of her extensive background and experience in Indian gaming, as well as a broad spectrum of other Native American issues," the notice, which was signed by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, states.

The NIGC, which regulates the $28.5 billion tribal casino industry, has gone without three members since since January 2013. It was even down to just one person -- Jonodev Chaudhuri, a member of the Muscogee Nation who serves as the agency's chairman -- for six months last year. That changed with E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, a member of the Coharie Tribe, came on board in November 2015.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 calls for three people to serve on the NIGC. One is the chairman, to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, while the other two commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior Department.

Except for a brief period in 1990, when the agency got off the ground with its first chairman and sole member, the NIGC has never gone with less than three members for a prolonged period of time up until the Obama era.

Federal Register Notice:
Proposed Appointment to the National Indian Gaming Commission (February 8, 2016)

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