Enhanced Protections for Tribal Gaming Announced by Interior Department

The Interior Department has recently updated its federal regulations to enhance the clarity and transparency of Indian gaming compacts, aiming to streamline the process for tribes negotiating deals. This move is part of a broader effort to facilitate tribal economic development, recognizing gaming as a key driver.

The updated rules, under 25 C.F.R.Part 293, are designed to simplify the Interior Department’s approval process for tribal-state compacts. These changes include clear definitions of negotiation terms, setting boundaries for negotiations, and specifying conditions under which the Interior Department will review a compact.

According to the Interior Department, these regulatory updates incorporate feedback from tribal communities and are slated to take effect 30 days after their publication in the Federal Register, anticipated to occur this week.

Secretary Deb Haaland of the Interior Department highlighted the significance of Indian gaming to tribal economies and the essential services funded by gaming revenues. “By updating these regulations, we will provide certainty and clarity to tribes for an industry that remains one of the most significant sources of economic development in Indian country,” Haaland stated.

Bryan Newland, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, remarked on the administration’s dedication to supporting Indian country, noting, “By providing clarity on Class III gaming compact negotiations, the Biden-Harris administration is following through on its commitments to Indian country.”

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