The 3 Gaming Classes Under Regulation of the IGRA

In 1988, Congress enacted legislation titled the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to provide the framework for a gambling operation run by California tribes. This enactment was a direct response to the ruling that stopped California from interfering with existing tribal gaming operations. The IRGA set forth to provide tribes with opportunity for economic growth, self-sufficiency and stable government.

IGRA divides all gambling operations into one of three classes with different levels of regulations, depending on the gambling taking place. IGRA emphasizes a proper balance between state and tribes so that the operations can satisfy all parties. Under IGRA, casinos are allowed on Indian land, and the state must negotiate with the tribe for the opportunity of entering into a gambling compact. These negotiations could be held with one of our Palm Springs tribal attorneys or Palm Springs Native American trust lawyers. IGRA also created the National Indian Gaming Commission in the United States Department of the Interior (DOI) to check any potential extortion or exploitation.

The first of the three gaming classes, Class 1, is defined as any game for prizes of small value or any game that is inherently related to a tribal celebration or ceremony; the tribes themselves regulate these only.

Class 2 games are games where players tend to compete against each other rather than a house, like poker, bingo or lottery. Tribes are not limited by a set number of Class II games they may operate, and both the NIGC and the tribes themselves regulate these games.

Last are the Class III games, which are more typical casino games such as slots, video poker and blackjack, although dice games such as roulette and craps are illegal under state law. Both the state and tribes into an agreement signed by both parties and given approval by the U.S. DOI regulate these games. The California Gambling Control Commission and the Division of Gambling Control within the Department of Justice are the principal bodies of regulations within the state of California.

Contact Our Palm Springs Tribal Attorneys

One of our Palm Springs tribal attorneys will help you with regulations if you are a tribe, individual, government agency, or business. Contact us at 760-322-2275.