NIGC Issues New Guidance on Class III Minimum Internal Control Standards

  |  September 4, 2018

On August 14, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) announced the approval of non-binding guidance on Class III Minimum Internal Control Standards (MICS).

The NIGC’s Class III MICS were last substantively revised in 2005. In 2006, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that NIGC lacked authority to enforce or promulgate Class III MICS. Since that time, the Class III MICS have remained untouched.

Between 2015 and 2016, the NIGC sought feedback from tribes on whether to draft updated, nonbinding guidance for Class III MICS. More than 40 tribes provided comment overwhelmingly supporting the NIGC proposal for non-binding guidance. In 2017, the Commission circulated draft guidance for tribal consultation and sought further comments from state gaming regulators.

In light of the comments received, the NIGC developed the non-binding guidance for Class III MICS and suspended the existing 542 regulations. This leaves the existing regulations “on the books,” but with an editorial note that they are not enforceable.

The NIGC acknowledges that numerous tribes look to the Class III MICS for guidance, and in many cases, reference the MICS in their compacts and ordinances. Recognizing that technology has advanced rapidly and made some standards obsolete, the new non-binding guidance provides updated standards that address today’s gaming industry. And, because the updated MICS will be guidance instead of regulations, it will allow the NIGC to quickly adapt the MICS to changing technology and provide up-to-date training and technical assistance.

Additional revisions are anticipated as the NIGC seeks to refine its regulations to keep pace with changes in the gaming industry, particularly those concerning technological advances.

Click here to view the NIGC announcement and the Guidance Bulletin, including a summary of comments received during the feedback process and NIGC responses.

Please contact Anh To, REDW Senior Consultant, if you have questions about this announcement.

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