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Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

This is a research paper topic suggestion on Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It will be a solid study on cultural diversity. Custom research papers on cultural awareness in sociology are Paper Masters specialty. The thesis statement and topic you see here is just a SAMPLE research paper of what we can provide you in research. Papers are always original and we guarantee each research paper, essay, book report or research paper that is sold by Paper Masters will never be resold and is plagiarism-free.

How to Organize Your Research on the IGRA

Research paper on the Impact of The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act on the American Indian culture. The essay allows you to choose an aspect of American history (or your personal history), cultural life, public policy or social relations that interests you.  It is an opportunity to deal with a diversity issue in some depth. The paper must include at least some scholarly references. For example, Scholarly sources include:

  • Academic journals, books. (You may use your assigned text as a scholarly source.)
  • Textbooks and other academic books from other courses.
  • Scholarly experts in area can be interviewed.
  • On-line sources count if you it is a "legitimate" site such as the U.S. Census, or the Official Seminole (Native-American) site.

Brief Research Overview on the IGRA

Indian Gaming Regulatory ActIn 1988 the United States Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in effort to reach out to a suffering Native American community.  According to the legislation it was passed in effort to promote “tribal economic development, self sufficiency, and strong tribal governments.”  The stipulations of the act would be under the supervision of the states, and creating the National Indian Gaming Commission, to ensure that the profits gained by the Indian casinos would go directly to benefit all aspects of the tribal community.  The act was in many regards a symbolic gesture on behalf of the United States government to assist a struggling community many believe were wrongfully treated for several hundred years. 

Prior to Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, small time gambling such as poker and bingo was taking place on Indian reservations in California.  An attempt by the California state government to regulate the gambling resulted in a United States Supreme Court case in 1987, ruling against the authority of the state of California to regulate.  The issue was then taken to Congress who passed IGRA the following year to give “states limited regulatory jurisdiction over Indian gaming activities.”  The National Indian Gaming Commission was created in order to “select tribal games, enforce collection of civil fines, inspect gaming premises, conduct background investigation of management contractors, audit tribal gaming, enterprises and consult with law enforcement officials to conduct necessary criminal investigations.” 

Gaming on Indian reservations has been divided into three main categories, labeled Class One, Class Two and Class Three. 

  1. A Class One gaming license involves games that reward their participants with prizes or items of “minimal value.” 
  2. A Class Two license includes such gaming as bingo, pull tabs, a lottery, card games and the like.  A Class Three license includes all of these forms of gambling not mentioned in either of the first two, such as slot machines. 
  3. A Class Three license is subject to an agreement between the tribal government and their host state, with the approval of the National Indian Gaming Commission. 
After almost twenty years since the act went into effect, there remains a debate regarding the impact of the legislation on the tribal communities.  The issues range from behavioral effects on members of the tribe, such as homicide and addiction rates going up; to legal issues of intertribal disputes and regulatory disputes with the state government.  According to a Stanford University study, the effects of Indian casino gambling may have resulted in an increase in crime, among a demographic group already thought to be on average more violent than the population at large.  The study also reports that 15.4 homicides take place for every 100,000 Native Americans, while there are only 9 homicides for every 100,000 in the population at large.  While several incidents of gun fights linked to casino gambling have been reported, it is suggested that these are mostly isolated incidents and that there are other issues within the tribal community that contribute to the higher degrees of violence.  Some suggest that IGRA has had the opposite effect, resulting in decrease in crime and violent behavior.  Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, Richard Hill, claimed in a hearing before Congress that he believed the problems of unemployment, poverty and alcoholism that the Native American population has historically faced are now becoming less of an issue, thanks to the gaming revenues.  Issues of law enforcement have made for some problems as well given that state and local law enforcement may not intervene in tribal matters until after gun shots have been fired.

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