Kootenai Tribe: The truth about the regulation of Indian gaming

The Kootenai River Inn Casino and Spa in Idaho. Photo from KRI

The Kootenai Tribe clears up "misinformation" about the Indian gaming industry in Idaho:
Newspaper articles correctly state the Kootenai Tribe and other Idaho tribal governments are concerned about the proliferation of what are referred to as "historical horse racing machines." Unfortunately, readers have been subjected to a great deal of misinformation.

Doug Okuniewicz, general manager of the Greyhound Park in Post Falls, is quoted as stating Indian gaming is unregulated. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Indian gaming is governed by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a federal law that "provides a statutory basis for the regulation of gaming by an Indian tribe adequate to shield it from organized crime and other corrupting influences, to ensure that the Indian tribe is the primary beneficiary of the gaming operation, and to assure that gaming is conducted fairly and honestly by both the operator and players." The Act, referred to by its acronym IGRA, also establishes federal standards for gaming implemented by the National Indian Gaming Commission, an independent federal regulatory authority.

In addition to federal regulatory authority, the IGRA requires tribal governments to create gaming commissions with authority to regulate tribal gaming. The Kootenai Tribal Gaming Commission oversees and regulates our gaming facility. The Commission's duties include issuing gaming licenses to employees and monitoring compliance with laws and regulations. An annual independent audit is also performed to check the Commission's work.

For certain types of games (referred to as Class III games), IGRA requires tribal governments to negotiate with the state and enter into a compact governing the conduct of the gaming activities.

Get the Story:
Kootenai Tribal Council: The facts on tribal gaming (The Coeur d'Alene Press 1/30)

Related Stories
Gaming machines at non-Indian tracks stir controversy in Idaho (1/29)

Join the Conversation