The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) presented a certificate of self-regulation to the Pokagon Band at the annual citizen’s meeting March 23 at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College. The tribe’s certificate of self-regulation went into effect on January 1, 2019.
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi is just the fifth tribe to be granted a self-regulation certificate from the NIGC.
Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and NIGC regulations (25 C.F.R. Part 518), self-regulation status allows a tribe to regulate Class II gaming with reduced oversight from the NIGC. The Commission only issues certificates of self-regulation to a tribe that can demonstrate it has satisfied the applicable requirements, which include a three-year review to ensure its gaming activities have followed the IGRA, NIGC regulations, and the tribe’s laws and regulations.
“I commend the tribe for being able to achieve self-regulation status under IGRA,” said NIGC Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri. “The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi has worked hard to reach this status and continues to demonstrate self-sufficiency and self-determination—key principles outlined in IGRA. The tribe ensures that its operations will continue to benefit its citizens and communities for years to come.”
As part of the self-regulation process, the NIGC spent a significant amount of time reviewing the tribe’s gaming regulatory structures. This review process ensures the tribe has conducted its gaming activity in a manner that effectively accounts for all gaming revenue; that it has a reputation for a safe, fair and honest operation; and that it is free of criminal or dishonest activities. Additionally, the NIGC confirms that the tribe’s gaming operation is operated on a fiscally sound basis and that it has adequate systems for accounting, investigations, licensing and enforcement.
“We are honored to be the first tribe in Michigan and Indiana to receive a Certificate of Self-Regulation from the National Indian Gaming Commission. This achievement emphasizes the Pokagon Band’s dedication and commitment to regulatory excellence and the preservation of our Tribal sovereignty,” said Matthew Wesaw, Chairman of the Pokagon Band. “I want to thank the Pokagon Band Gaming Commission for their continued diligence and determination that not only made self-regulation possible but also ensures that our gaming operations are conducted honestly and free from unlawful conduct and corruptive elements.”