Oklahoma tribes oppose NIGC's Class II regulations

Oklahoma tribes are the latest to join opposition to the National Indian Gaming Commission's new Class II regulations.

Tribes in the state have long depended on bingo and electronic versions of bingo. These machines normally fall into the Class II category of games.

But the NIGC says changes in technology have made these games look and play more like slot machines, which are Class III. So the agency has proposed new rules to draw a "bright line" between the two classes.

"Congress said there is a difference between bingo and Class III games and this clarifies it," NIGC Chairman Phil Hogen told The Tulsa World.

Liz Homer, an attorney for the Osage Nation who use to sit on the NIGC, disagrees. She said the agency has no authority to change the definition of bingo under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

"You would have to re-write IGRA before you can enforce these rules," Homer told the paper.

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Tribes resist gaming changes (The Tulsa World 11/2)

Federal Register Notices:
Classification Standards for Bingo, Lotto, Other Games Similar to Bingo, Pull Tabs and Instant Bingo as Class II Gaming When Played Through an Electronic Medium Using "Electronic, Computer, or Other Technologic Aids'" (October 24, 2007)
Technical Standards for Electronic, Computer, or Other Technologic Aids Used in the Play of Class II Games (October 24, 2007)
Definition for Electronic or Electromechanical Facsimile (October 24, 2007)
Minimum Internal Control Standards for Class II Gaming (October 24, 2007)