Native American tribal leaders attending the recent Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) hearing on Internet gaming sent a unified message about their needs for the industry.
The message was three-fold:
While the SCIA has held a number of hearings on Internet gaming, this is the first since Internet gaming was made available to Native American tribes though a Department of Justice (DoJ) opinion in December 2011. Delaware has since legalized all forms of online gaming, with New Jersey, Arizona and Nevada poised to follow. Tribal leaders worry that a “patchwork” of different regulatory systems will impact tribal sovereignty. Under NIGA, tribes expect to protect their rights to operate, regulate, tax and license Indian gaming as well as prevent conflict between the states and Tribes.
Indian gaming is approximately a $27 billion industry and represents 40% of the United States’ total gaming industry.