Battin Calls on Federal Commission to Drop Pending

Class II Gaming Regulations

California State Senator Jim Battin (R- La Quinta) submitted a letter he authored and twenty-one other California legislators signed that requested the National Indian Gaming Commission resist imposing regulations on Class II gaming machines.

If finalized, the regulations would for the first time provide detailed specifications as to what constitutes a Class II game. Indian tribes do not need a state compact to operate Class II games, although they do to operate Class III games. Many tribes view the pending regulations as a way to restrict the viability of Class II gaming and provide states with unfair leverage in state-tribal compact negotiations.

“Congress never intended for the NIGC to regulate this area of tribal gaming,” Battin said. “Tribes were to be allowed to take advantage of changes in technology and game designs which result from a thriving gaming market. These proposed regulations would bring that innovation to a grinding halt.”

“I am pleased so many of my colleagues agreed to send a letter to the NIGC commissioners urging them to not support regulating Class II gaming. States, like California, too often look at tribal gaming as a taxable source of revenue instead of a way to support tribal self-sufficiency. When tribes enter into compact negotiations, they should be able to do so on a level playing field without the threat of a reduced Class II gaming environment,” Battin concluded.

The proposed regulations were published in the Federal Register on October 24, 2007. The comment period for the proposed regulations is open until March 9, 2008.