NIGC Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustment

To:                  NIGA Member Tribes
From:             Chairman Ernest L. Stevens, Jr.
            Jason C. Giles, Executive Director
Danielle Her Many Horses, Deputy Executive Director/General Counsel
Re:        NIGC Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustment  

Date:              July 11, 2016

On July 6, 2016, the National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC”) issued an Interim Final Rule to adjust the maximum civil monetary penalty amount from $25,000.00 to $49,467.00.  The Interim Final Rule has an effective date of August 1, 2016, and will apply to any penalties assessed after that date.  A copy of the Interim Final Rule is available at the following link:

Pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and under the current regulation at 25 C.F.R. § 575.4, “the Chairman may assess a civil fine not to exceed $25,000.00 per violation against a tribe, management contractor, or individual operating Indian gaming for each notice of violation.”  This $25,000.00 cap on monetary penalties has remained unchanged since IGRA was enacted in 1988.  

In 2015, Congress enacted the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act (Act), the purpose of which is to upwardly adjust federal statutory civil penalties to current values.  The Act provides a multiplier of 1.97869 to be applied by federal agencies in determining the initial “catch-up” adjustment.  Applying this multiplier, the NIGC’s Interim Final Rule increases the $25,000.00 statutory penalty to $49,467.00 ($25,000.00 x 1.97869 =$49,467.00).  Beginning January 15, 2017, this maximum civil monetary penalty amount will be adjusted annually for inflation in accordance with the Act.  

The NIGC is not completing a notice and comment process for this Interim Final Rule since the adjustment is a nondiscretionary statutory requirement under the Act.  

Please contact Veronica Watters, Legislative Director, by email at  or by phone at 202-546-7711 with any questions or concerns.