Summary: S.555 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (09/15/1988)

(Measure passed Senate, amended)

Indian Gaming Regulatory Act - Establishes Federal standards for gaming activity on Indian lands.

Establishes the National Indian Gaming Commission within the Department of the Interior. Requires at least two members of the Commission to be enrolled members of any Indian tribe. Excludes from the Commission individuals convicted of a felony or gaming offense or who have specified conflicts of interest.

Authorizes the Commission Chairman to: (1) issue orders of temporary closure of gaming activities; (2) levy and collect civil fines; (3) approve tribal ordinances regulating class II and class III gaming; and (4) approve management contracts for gaming. Requires the Commission to monitor class II Indian gaming activities, inspect all premises where class II gaming occurs, and conduct background investigations. Requires the Commission to submit a report to the Congress every two years.

Requires the Chairman to appoint a General Counsel to the Commission. Empowers the Commission to secure information from U.S. departments and agencies.

Requires the Secretary of the Interior to exercise current supervision of Indian gaming until the Commission is organized and prescribes regulations.

Leaves class I gaming (social games for prizes of minimal value and ceremonial games) within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Indian tribes. Continues tribal jurisdiction over class II gaming (bingo, lotto, and certain card games), but subject to this Act.

Allows tribes to regulate class II gaming if: (1) the tribe is located in a State permitting it; and (2) the tribe's governing body adopts an ordinance approved by the Chairman. Requires the Chairman to approve any tribal ordinance on class II gaming if specified conditions, including the following, are met: (1) the tribe has the sole proprietary interest in and responsibility for the conduct of the gaming activity; (2) net revenues are used only for specified tribal, charitable, or local governmental purposes; and (3) the tribe will obtain annual outside audits. Specifies the conditions under which net revenues from any tribal gaming may be used to make per capita payments to tribal members, including that the interests of minors entitled to receive any per capita payments are protected under an approved plan.

Allows tribal regulation of class II gaming activities not owned by Indians, providing tribal requirements are at least as restrictive as State laws governing similar gaming. Allows continued operation of individually owned class II gaming operations operating on September 1, 1986, if specified conditions are met.

Allows Indian tribes meeting specified conditions to petition the Commission for a certificate of self-regulation. Sets forth criteria for granting such a petition and procedures to remove such a certificate.

States that class III gaming activities (all forms of gaming that are not class I or class II) shall be lawful on Indian lands only if: (1) authorized by an approved ordinance; (2) located in a State permitting such gaming; and (3) conducted in conformance with a tribal-State compact. Allows tribal governing bodies sole discretion in revoking class III gaming ordinances.

Requires tribes having jurisdiction over the Indian lands upon which a class III gaming activity is being conducted to request the State to enter into negotiations for a tribal-State compact governing the conduct of gaming activities. Requires any such compact to include provisions relating to: (1) the application of criminal and civil laws; (2) the allocation of criminal and civil jurisdiction between the State and tribe; (3) a State assessment to defray regulating costs; (4) taxation by the Indian tribe; (5) remedies for breach of contract; (6) standards for operation, including licensing; and (7) any other directly related matters.

States that, except for certain assessments that may be agreed to, nothing in this Act shall be interpreted as conferring State authority to impose taxes, fees, or charges upon persons authorized to engage in class III activities. Prohibits States from refusing to enter into negotiations based upon a lack of authority to impose such taxes, fees, or charges.

Grants U.S. district courts jurisdiction over actions by a tribe against a State for failure to enter into negotiations or to negotiate in good faith. Authorizes tribal suits and provides for court-appointed negotiators to mediate compacts.

Prescribes the conditions under which the Secretary may disapprove compacts. States that if the Secretary does not take action on a compact within 45 days, it shall be considered approved.

Requires the Chairman to approve ordinances within 90 days of submission. Provides that any ordinance not acted upon within 90 days will be deemed approved if it complies with Federal statutes on gaming.

Authorizes tribes to make management contracts for class II gaming activities, provided the Chairman receives information concerning the background, past experience with gaming contracts, and financial statements for each person having a financial interest in or management responsibility for the contract.

Requires the Chairman to determine, before approving any management contract, that it provides for: (1) adequate accounting procedures; (2) access to the daily operations of the gaming to tribal officials; (3) a minimum guaranteed payment to the tribe; (4) a ceiling for the repayment of development and construction costs; (5) a contract term not to exceed five years; and (6) grounds for terminating the contract.

Prohibits the Chairman from approving a contract if: (1) any person having a financial interest in or management responsibility for the contract is a member of the tribe's governing body or has been convicted of any felony or gaming offense; (2) the management contractor has unduly influenced the tribal government or deliberately failed to comply with the terms of the contract; or (3) a trustee would not approve the contract.

Requires the Chairman to review existing ordinances and management contracts authorizing class II gaming and to provide written notification of modifications needed to conform to Federal law.

Authorizes the Chairman to levy fines of up to $25,000 for civil violations of gaming regulations and this Act. Authorizes the Chairman to temporarily close a game.

Provides for the appeal to Federal district court of such fines and permanent closure orders. Provides for tribal jurisdiction over gaming that is not inconsistent with this Act. Provides that certain Commission decisions will be final agency decisions for purposes of court review. Provides guidelines for subpoena and deposition authority, the payment of witnesses, and venue. Provides for confidentiality of Commission findings and for disbursement of information. Authorizes the Attorney General to investigate gaming activities which may be a violation of Federal law.

Requires the Commission to establish a schedule of annual fees for Commission funding to be paid by each class II tribal gaming activity and to annually adopt the rate of fees. Provides that surplus funds in excess of Commission operating costs be credited on pro rata bases to tribes for the succeeding year. Authorizes appropriations.

Excludes gaming from lands acquired by the Secretary for an Indian tribe after enactment of this Act unless: (1) such lands are within or contiguous to the boundaries of a reservation on the date of enactment of this Act; (2) the tribe has no reservation on the date of enactment; or (3) the Secretary determines a gaming establishment on newly acquired lands would be in the best interest of the tribe. Makes special provision for certain Lands of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin and certain interests of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.

Applies the Internal Revenue Code to winnings from Indian gaming operations.

Removes restrictions on the use of mails and advertising with respect to gaming activities.

Applies State laws pertaining to the licensing, regulations, or prohibition of gambling to Indian lands in the same manner as elsewhere in the State, subject to specified limitations. Gives the United States exclusive jurisdiction over criminal prosecutions of violations of State gambling laws on Indian lands.

Establishes penalties for theft from gaming establishments on Indian lands.