Gabe Galanda on NIGC Per Capita “Deregulation” and Disenrollment

Gabe Galanda has published, “The Reluctant Watchdog – How National Indian Gaming Commission Inaction Helps Tribes Disenroll Members for Profit and Jeopardizes Indian Gaming as We Know It,” in Gaming Law Review & Economics. An excerpt:

Disenrollment tied to gaming per capita payments is now epidemic. Indeed, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals took occasion to remark that the corresponding proliferation of disenrollment controversy results from ‘‘the advent of Indian gaming, the revenues from which are distributed among tribal members.’’ Yet in the face of very public gaming per capita abuses, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC or ‘‘Commission’’) has for the last several years refused to enforce IGRA to deter or remedy those abuses.

The result of the NIGC’s de facto deregulation of the misuse of gaming per capita payments is the belief among some tribal leaders, aided by tribal lawyers, that they are free to convert tribal citizenships into profit and political gain. The NIGC’s failure to intervene despite both its statutory mandate to eradicate corrupting influences from the Indian gaming space, and its trust fiduciary responsibility to serve and protect all American Indians is woeful, and threatens the tribal gaming industry at large.