On May 14, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which opens up the Sports Betting Market to Indian Gaming. Of course, each Tribal Nation must determine for themselves what the risks and benefits are and decide accordingly. NIGA will continue to serve as an information gathering and information sharing resource for our Member Tribes.
Federal Legislative Focus
In our advocacy role; NIGA will continue to monitor the Federal Legislative landscape and advocate to ensure that our Sports Betting Resolution principles are adhered to. These include:
- Tribes have governmental authority to regulate gaming
- Sports Betting revenues will not be subject to taxation for Tribal Governments
- Customers access for Tribes is permissible where Sports Betting is legal
- Tribal rights under IGRA and Gaming Compacts are protected
- IGRA will not be opened up for amendments
- Tribal Governments receive a positive economic benefit in any federal Sports Betting legalization proposals
- Indian Tribes have the right to opt in to a federal regulatory scheme to ensure access to broad-based markets
- Integrity and protection of the game and patron protections are of high importance
- Any consideration of Mobile, on-line or internet gaming must also adhere to these principles
Currently, there are no federal legislative proposals. Congressman Pallone (NJ) is expected to withdraw his long proposed bill as New Jersey will have sports betting shortly. The NFL has approached Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to introduce legislation that will provide for Federal Regulation of sports betting. There is no timeline on when Senator Hatch will introduce that legislation and he is retiring this November.
With the focus now changing to State Legislatures and Tribal Governments, NIGA will gather Tribal Gaming information on a Regional and State basis through Tribal Gaming Regional Associations, State Tribal Associations and/or NIGA Tribal Government members. Please watch for an Assessment Tool that will be issued in the next couple of weeks. We are hoping that all of our member Tribes will participate so we can provide you with a comprehensive report that your Tribe can use in assessing your approach to Sports Betting.
State Legislative Analysis
NIGA will review and analyze legislative proposals in the states. Tribes must consider how they can work with their State Government to make Sports Betting a viable economic and regulated activity for Tribal Government Gaming. Within each state, there are numerous factors to consider, the most important being the terms of your State-Tribal Compact.
Maintaining a seat at the table with all Stakeholders
We will continue to monitor and participate in the AGA Sports Betting Task Force and provide quarterly reports to the NIGA Board of Directors and seek guidance on policy and strategy efforts that will impact Tribal Government Gaming. Participation of other Stakeholders will also be tracked and guidance will be sought from the NIGA Board with regard to any strategic efforts that should be given consideration.
With our strong emphasis on maintaining integrity and the protection of our industry, we will continue to work along side the National Tribal Gaming Commissioners & Regulators and the Tribal Alliance as they move forward with the development of minimum internal controls and technical standards for Sports Betting in Indian Gaming. Our regulatory partners will ensure that we are exercising our jurisdictional authority and rights to govern gaming in our territories.
NIGA will also continue its media relations efforts in order to educate the public and other stakeholders about Tribal Government Gaming and its positive economic and social impacts as well as our many years of success with emphasis on our regulatory capabilities. We will also ensure that Tribal Government Gaming's voice is heard.
With the Supreme Court Ruling striking down the constitutionality of PASPA in its entirety and the opportunity for Sports Betting for Tribal Governments on the horizon; our work has just begun. As you can see, the recent decision requires us to be diligent in our efforts to maintain our seat at the table and ensure that Tribal Government Gaming is not only heard, but is also considered in a meaningful way as the overall Gaming Industry moves forward with Sports Betting. We will need our Member Tribes, Regional Associations and State Associations to assist us in our information gathering efforts.
North American Association of State & Provincial Lotteries Statement
New York Times article, "Indian Tribes Dig In to Gain Their Share of Sports Betting"