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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of December 18, 2014

Title 25Chapter ISubchapter N → Part 291


Title 25: Indians


PART 291—CLASS III GAMING PROCEDURES


Contents
§291.1   Purpose and scope.
§291.2   Definitions
§291.3   When may an Indian tribe ask the Secretary to issue Class III gaming procedures?
§291.4   What must a proposal requesting Class III gaming procedures contain?
§291.5   Where must the proposal requesting Class III gaming procedures be filed?
§291.6   What must the Secretary do upon receiving a proposal?
§291.7   What must the Secretary do if it has been determined that the Indian tribe is eligible to request Class III gaming procedures?
§291.8   What must the Secretary do at the expiration of the 60-day comment period if the State has not submitted an alternative proposal?
§291.9   What must the Secretary do at the end of the 60-day comment period if the State offers an alternative proposal for Class III gaming procedures?
§291.10   What is the role of the mediator appointed by the Secretary?
§291.11   What must the Secretary do upon receiving the proposal selected by the mediator?
§291.12   Who will monitor and enforce tribal compliance with the Class III gaming procedures?
§291.13   When do Class III gaming procedures for an Indian tribe become effective?
§291.14   How can Class III gaming procedures approved by the Secretary be amended?
§291.15   How long do Class III gaming procedures remain in effect?

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 25 U.S.C. sections 2,9 and 2710.

Source: 64 FR 17543, Apr. 12, 1999, unless otherwise noted.

§291.1   Purpose and scope.

The regulations in this part establish procedures that the Secretary will use to promulgate rules for the conduct of Class III Indian gaming when:

(a) A State and an Indian tribe are unable to voluntarily agree to a compact and;

(b) The State has asserted its immunity from suit brought by an Indian tribe under 25 U.S.C. 2710(d)(7)(B).

§291.2   Definitions

(a) All terms have the same meaning as set forth in the definitional section of IGRA, 25 U.S.C. section 2703(1)-(10).

(b) The term “compact” includes renewal of an existing compact.

§291.3   When may an Indian tribe ask the Secretary to issue Class III gaming procedures?

An Indian tribe may ask the Secretary to issue Class III gaming procedures when the following steps have taken place:

(a) The Indian tribe submitted a written request to the State to enter into negotiations to establish a Tribal-State compact governing the conduct of Class III gaming activities;

(b) The State and the Indian tribe failed to negotiate a compact 180 days after the State received the Indian tribe's request;

(c) The Indian tribe initiated a cause of action in Federal district court against the State alleging that the State did not respond, or did not respond in good faith, to the request of the Indian tribe to negotiate such a compact;

(d) The State raised an Eleventh Amendment defense to the tribal action; and

(e) The Federal district court dismissed the action due to the State's sovereign immunity under the Eleventh Amendment.

§291.4   What must a proposal requesting Class III gaming procedures contain?

A proposal requesting Class III gaming procedures must include the following information:

(a) The full name, address, and telephone number of the Indian tribe submitting the proposal;

(b) A copy of the authorizing resolution from the Indian tribe submitting the proposal;

(c) A copy of the Indian tribe's gaming ordinance or resolution approved by the NIGC in accordance with 25 U.S.C. 2710, if any;

(d) A copy of the Indian tribe's organic documents, if any;

(e) A copy of the Indian tribe's written request to the State to enter into compact negotiations, along with the Indian tribe's proposed compact, if any;

(f) A copy of the State's response to the tribal request and/or proposed compact, if any;

(g) A copy of the tribe's Complaint (with attached exhibits, if any); the State's Motion to Dismiss; any Response by the tribe to the State's Motion to Dismiss; any Opinion or other written documents from the court regarding the State's Motion to Dismiss; and the Court's Order of dismissal;

(h) The Indian tribe's factual and legal authority for the scope of gaming specified in paragraph (j)(13) of this section;

(i) Regulatory scheme for the State's oversight role, if any, in monitoring and enforcing compliance; and

(j) Proposed procedures under which the Indian tribe will conduct Class III gaming activities, including:

(1) A certification that the tribe's accounting procedures are maintained in accordance with American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Standards for Audits of Casinos, including maintenance of books and records in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and applicable NIGC regulations;

(2) A reporting system for the payment of taxes and fees in a timely manner and in compliance with Internal Revenue Code and Bank Secrecy Act requirements;

(3) Preparation of financial statements covering all financial activities of the Indian tribe's gaming operations;

(4) Internal control standards designed to ensure fiscal integrity of gaming operations as set forth in 25 CFR Part 542;

(5) Provisions for records retention, maintenance, and accessibility;

(6) Conduct of games, including patron requirements, posting of game rules, and hours of operation;

(7) Procedures to protect the integrity of the rules for playing games;

(8) Rules governing employees of the gaming operation, including code of conduct, age requirements, conflict of interest provisions, licensing requirements, and such background investigations of all management officials and key employees as are required by IGRA, NIGC regulations, and applicable tribal gaming laws;

(9) Policies and procedures that protect the health and safety of patrons and employees and that address insurance and liability issues, as well as safety systems for fire and emergency services at all gaming locations;

(10) Surveillance procedures and security personnel and systems capable of monitoring movement of cash and chips, entrances and exits of gaming facilities, and other critical areas of any gaming facility;

(11) An administrative and/or tribal judicial process to resolve disputes between gaming establishment, employees and patrons, including a process to protect the rights of individuals injured on gaming premises by reason of negligence in the operation of the facility;

(12) Hearing procedures for licensing purposes;

(13) A list of gaming activities proposed to be offered by the Indian tribe at its gaming facilities;

(14) A description of the location of proposed gaming facilities;

(15) A copy of the Indian tribe's liquor ordinance approved by the Secretary if intoxicants, as used in 18 U.S.C. 1154, will be served in the gaming facility;

(16) Provisions for a tribal regulatory gaming entity, independent of gaming management;

(17) Provisions for tribal enforcement and investigatory mechanisms, including the imposition of sanctions, monetary penalties, closure, and an administrative appeal process relating to enforcement and investigatory actions;

(18) The length of time the procedures will remain in effect; and

(19) Any other provisions deemed necessary by the Indian tribe.

§291.5   Where must the proposal requesting Class III gaming procedures be filed?

Any proposal requesting Class III gaming procedures must be filed with the Director, Indian Gaming Management Staff, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, MS 2070-MIB, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

§291.6   What must the Secretary do upon receiving a proposal?

Upon receipt of a proposal requesting Class III gaming procedures, the Secretary must:

(a) Within 15 days, notify the Indian tribe in writing that the proposal has been received, and whether any information required under §291.4 is missing;

(b) Within 30 days of receiving a complete proposal, notify the Indian tribe in writing whether the Indian tribe meets the eligibility requirements in §291.3. The Secretary's eligibility determination is final for the Department.

§291.7   What must the Secretary do if it has been determined that the Indian tribe is eligible to request Class III gaming procedures?

(a) If the Secretary determines that the Indian tribe is eligible to request Class III gaming procedures and that the Indian tribe's proposal is complete, the Secretary must submit the Indian tribe's proposal to the Governor and the Attorney General of the State where the gaming is proposed.

(b) The Governor and Attorney General will have 60 days to comment on:

(1) Whether the State is in agreement with the Indian tribe's proposal;

(2) Whether the proposal is consistent with relevant provisions of the laws of the State;

(3) Whether contemplated gaming activities are permitted in the State for any purposes, by any person, organization, or entity.

(c) The Secretary will also invite the State's Governor and Attorney General to submit an alternative proposal to the Indian tribe's proposed Class III gaming procedures.

§291.8   What must the Secretary do at the expiration of the 60-day comment period if the State has not submitted an alternative proposal?

(a) Upon expiration of the 60-day comment period specified in §291.7, if the State has not submitted an alternative proposal, the Secretary must review the Indian tribe's proposal to determine:

(1) Whether all requirements of §291.4 are adequately addressed;

(2) Whether Class III gaming activities will be conducted on Indian lands over which the Indian tribe has jurisdiction;

(3) Whether contemplated gaming activities are permitted in the State for any purposes by any person, organization, or entity;

(4) Whether the proposal is consistent with relevant provisions of the laws of the State;

(5) Whether the proposal is consistent with the trust obligations of the United States to the Indian tribe;

(6) Whether the proposal is consistent with all applicable provisions of IGRA; and

(7) Whether the proposal is consistent with provisions of other applicable Federal laws.

(b) Within 60 days of the expiration of the 60-day comment period in §291.7, the Secretary must notify the Indian tribe, the Governor, and the Attorney General of the State in writing that he/she has:

(1) Approved the proposal if the Secretary determines that there are no objections to the Indian tribe's proposal; or

(2) Identified unresolved issues and areas of disagreements in the proposal, and invite the Indian tribe, the Governor and the Attorney General to participate in an informal conference, within 30 days of notification unless the parties agree otherwise, to resolve identified unresolved issues and areas of disagreement.

(c) Within 30 days of the informal conference, the Secretary must prepare and mail to the Indian tribe, the Governor and the Attorney General:

(1) A written report that summarizes the results of the informal conference; and

(2) A final decision either setting forth the Secretary's proposed Class III gaming procedures for the Indian tribe, or disapproving the proposal for any of the reasons in paragraph (a) of this section.

§291.9   What must the Secretary do at the end of the 60-day comment period if the State offers an alternative proposal for Class III gaming procedures?

Within 30 days of receiving the State's alternative proposal, the Secretary must appoint a mediator who:

(a) Has no official, financial, or personal conflict of interest with respect to the issues in controversy; and

(b) Must convene a process to resolve differences between the two proposals.

§291.10   What is the role of the mediator appointed by the Secretary?

(a) The mediator must ask the Indian tribe and the State to submit their last best proposal for Class III gaming procedures.

(b) After giving the Indian tribe and the State an opportunity to be heard and present information supporting their respective positions, the mediator must select from the two proposals the one that best comports with the terms of IGRA and any other applicable Federal law. The mediator must submit the proposal selected to the Indian tribe, the State, and the Secretary.

§291.11   What must the Secretary do upon receiving the proposal selected by the mediator?

Within 60 days of receiving the proposal selected by the mediator, the Secretary must do one of the following:

(a) Notify the Indian tribe, the Governor and the Attorney General in writing of his/her decision to approve the proposal for Class III gaming procedures selected by the mediator; or

(b) Notify the Indian tribe, the Governor and the Attorney General in writing of his/her decision to disapprove the proposal selected by the mediator for any of the following reasons:

(1) The requirements of §291.4 are not adequately addressed;

(2) Gaming activities would not be conducted on Indian lands over which the Indian tribe has jurisdiction;

(3) Contemplated gaming activities are not permitted in the State for any purpose by any person, organization, or entity;

(4) The proposal is not consistent with relevant provisions of the laws of the State;

(5) The proposal is not consistent with the trust obligations of the United States to the Indian tribe;

(6) The proposal is not consistent with applicable provisions of IGRA; or

(7) The proposal is not consistent with provisions of other applicable Federal laws.

(c) If the Secretary rejects the mediator's proposal under paragraph (b) of this section, he/she must prescribe appropriate procedures within 60 days under which Class III gaming may take place that comport with the mediator's selected proposal as much as possible, the provisions of IGRA, and the relevant provisions of the laws of the State.

§291.12   Who will monitor and enforce tribal compliance with the Class III gaming procedures?

The Indian tribe and the State may have an agreement regarding monitoring and enforcement of tribal compliance with the Indian tribe's Class III gaming procedures. In addition, under existing law, the NIGC will monitor and enforce tribal compliance with the Indian tribe's Class III gaming procedures.

§291.13   When do Class III gaming procedures for an Indian tribe become effective?

Upon approval of Class III gaming procedures for the Indian tribe under either §291.8(b), §291.8(c), or §291.11(a), the Indian tribe shall have 90 days in which to approve and execute the Secretarial procedures and forward its approval and execution to the Secretary, who shall publish notice of their approval in the Federal Register. The procedures take effect upon their publication in the Federal Register.

§291.14   How can Class III gaming procedures approved by the Secretary be amended?

An Indian tribe may ask the Secretary to amend approved Class III gaming procedures by submitting an amendment proposal to the Secretary. The Secretary must review the proposal by following the approval process for initial tribal proposals, except that the requirements of §291.3 are not applicable and he/she may waive the requirements of §291.4 to the extent they do not apply to the amendment request.

§291.15   How long do Class III gaming procedures remain in effect?

Class III gaming procedures remain in effect for the duration specified in the procedures or until amended pursuant to §291.14.



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