NIGC Chairman Outlines Sportsbook Plans

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NIGC Seal. (PRNewsFoto/National Indian Gaming Commission)

National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chairman E Sequoyah Simermeyer spoke this week to tribal regulators from the New Mexico Association of Indian Gaming Commissions, outlining plans for a new commission bulletin on sportsbooks, and forecasts for a public-faced agency bulletins advisory group.

The case, which took place at Santa Ana Star Casino and Hotel, was one of the first public meetings in Simermeyer since being commissioned to serve as chairman of the NIGC. After the PASPA strikedown, the casino was among the first tribally operated sportsbooks to open.

“Clear Agency guidance empowers tribal communities to regulate and develop Indian gaming in their own communities,” he told delegates, adding: “Today’s bulletin provides a new resource for tribes contemplating policy considerations related to the sound regulation of sports betting on Indian lands. It also underscores the NIGC’s role in the oversight of sports books on Indian lands as part of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’s framework.”

The newsletter, which is available on the NIGC website at www.nigc.gov, responds to requests made during recent years by tribal officials and the Indian gaming industry. Such inquiries sought clarity from the commission on the issue of Indian lands sportsbooks.

It discusses also the use of the agency’s fact-specific advisory opinions. These opinions serve as constructive assessments of agreements during a tribally-regulated sportsbook operation’s planning stage. Specifically, it explains how such agreements could include management and breach the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) provision for sole proprietary interests.

Simermeyer continued to share his plan to emphasise outreach and accountability in the day-to-day operations of the NIGC, specifically the NIGC website hosting numerous newsletters on a variety of subjects.

He discussed the support of the commission for a more formal process that would invite tribal representatives to participate in a public-facing group to advise the NIGC bulletins commission including potential topics for future bulletins.

Addressing the Indian Gaming Commissions Association of New Mexico he said: “It is the NIGC Commissioners’ responsibility to maintain this body of guidance in an informed and transparent manner. An advisory group can only aid the commission in ensuring that its guidance remains relevant and continues to address the needs of a growing and sophisticated industry.”

He concluded by saying he is currently working on a process of standing up an advisory group with Vice Chair Isom-Clause and hoped to give more details in the coming weeks.

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