Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
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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
In 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.
- A Class One gaming license involves games that reward their participants with prizes or items of “minimal value.”
- 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.
- 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.