NIGA 2018 Annual Report

An expansion of gaming on this scope will certainly impact tribal casinos and the carefully crafted tribal-state compacts across the country. We are already witnessing many States take anticipatory legislative steps in the expectation that the Court will hold PASPA unconstitutional. Whatever the Supreme Court’s outcome, and there are a myriad of possibilities, at worst Tribes and States would simply be in the same position as before the Christie case, while at best, Tribes and States would have the regulatory authority that Congress, through PASPA, had taken away from them. Certainly, there are a number of important issues that would remain unsettled under IGRA. Does sports betting constitute a class II or class III gaming activity under IGRA? IGRA allows tribes to engage in the same forms of gaming permitted under state law, but the scope and form of gambling becomes less clear from game to game. For example, how much of a difference is there between daily fantasy sports and individual game sports betting? Most importantly, states and tribes that have negotiated exclusivity provisions in existing compacts will need to resolve potential gray areas created by a newly authorized form of gambling. At NIGA, we are always concerned about the jurisdictional claims of State lottery officials who continue to explore expanding their operations into Internet and now sports gambling. Since a bumpy start several years ago, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada have reported increasing and stable internet gaming revenues as their customers become more comfortable with the platform. For NIGA and our Member Tribes, these potential new forms of gaming begin and end with their impact on tribal sovereignty. This principle has framed the Internet gaming debate in Indian Country from day one, however, not all the commercial gaming, federal, and state stakeholders consider the impacts of new gambling laws on Tribal Government’s interests. Indian Gaming Economic Impact Please take a moment to review the enclosed 2017 Economic Report. Indian gaming has surpassed the pre- recession direct employment of over 700,000 direct jobs. Indian Country has done a tremendous job preserving thousands of American jobs as the Country made a slow climb back from the Great Recession. Indian Gaming’s resource base helped prevent the layoffs of teachers, health care workers, fire fighters, police officers, and many other local government employees that provide essential services to children, elders, and others in the community. With the 2018 elections in front of us, we will have new faces in Congress yet again. NIGA will be there to help educate a new round of legislators about the numerous treaties, laws, and court decisions that protect tribal sovereignty. The NIGA staff and I look forward to proudly displaying how far Indian Gaming has come and the positive contributions it makes to this Country. We will continue these important policy discussions and keep Indian Country and tribal leaders informed of all the policy and social questions surrounding legalization of Internet gaming.


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