FROM THE ARCHIVE

Appeals court says game is legal Class II

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MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2003

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals last week sided with three tribes and said the "Magical Irish Instant Bingo Dispenser System" is a legal Class II game.

The National Indian Gaming Commission considered the game to be Class III and therefore illegal to operate without a tribal-state compact. But a unanimous three-judge panel said prior court rulings and the agency's own rules proved otherwise.

"Under our holding," wrote Judge Robert H. Henry for the majority, "the [tribes'] use of the machine in Indian Country is therefore insulated from liability based on the Johnson Act's ban on gambling devices."

The Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma, the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming challenged the NIGC's determination of the machine. The tribes had removed the machine from play as a result of the dispute and no longer offer it to customers.

Get the Decision:
Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma v. National Indian Gaming Commission (No. 01-5066)

Relevant Links:
National Indian Gaming Commission - http://www.nigc.gov

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Class II/III gaming at Comanche casino (4/16)