The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) announced it will hold a series of tribal consultation sessions across Indian Country from February through May, 2017. The NIGC undertakes its upcoming consultation sessions as part of its ongoing commitment to meaningful consultation with tribal nations and in performance of its regulatory responsibilities.

The consultation will focus on: (1) Non-binding guidance for Class III minimum internal control standards (MICS); (2) rural outreach; (3) developing a strong workforce through training; (4) management contract regulations and procedures; (5) technical standards for Mobile Gaming Devices; (6) modifications to fee regulations; and (7) grandfathered Class II gaming system regulations. The NIGC looks forward to engaging in significant dialogue with tribes as we begin to consider the Commission's current regulations and policies for this constantly growing Indian gaming industry. 

Consistent with federal law and NIGC's internal policy, the NIGC places the utmost importance on meaningful consultation with tribal nations in the performance of its statutory duties. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) provides the statutory framework to promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments. Tribal consultations are a vital tool for accomplishing this purpose. These consultations establish regular and meaningful collaboration with tribal officials in the development of Federal policies that have tribal implications.  In addition, tribal consultations strengthen the government-to-government relationships between the United States and Indian tribes.

The NIGC has advanced its core initiatives of staying ahead of the technology curve, protecting gamesmanship on the backs of tribes, promoting rural outreach, and creating a strong workforce, both within the NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners. The Commission has developed these initiatives with the goal of faithfully upholding IGRA's purposes. Together, IGRA and the Commission's initiatives will continue to drive our daily operations as we move forward to fulfill our mission. "Tribal consultations are vital to our ongoing regulatory work. The law mandates that Tribes be the primary beneficiaries of their operations. It is crucial to work hand in hand with our regulatory partners on a government-to-government basis to together preserve the integrity of Indian gaming," said chairman Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri.

The NIGC is committed to working with the primary regulators of Indian gaming – the over 6,000 tribal regulators in the field – as well as all relevant stakeholders to protect tribal assets and preserve the integrity of tribal gaming. The NIGC will continue its approach based on IGRA's statutory requirements to ensure that tribes are truly the primary beneficiaries of their gaming enterprises. You can find more information at http://www.nigc.gov/commission/tribal-consultation-2017.