Rincon Gaming is Regulated and Restricts Use of Gaming Proceeds
The tribe’s independent Gaming Commission has the important role of protecting the tribe’s revenues and consumers. Working cooperatively with the California Indian Gaming Commission (CIGC), and the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), the Rincon Commission has primary regulatory authority over the tribe’s gaming operations.
Federal law, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, (IGRA) of 1988 and NIGC regulate casino gaming on reservations. With support from the Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and other federal agencies the national gaming commission is charged with working with tribal commissions to regulate gaming and protect the tribes and consumers from fraud and criminal infiltration.
Congress clearly views gaming on Indian lands as an important, and necessary form of economic development for tribal governments, and legislated this sentiment in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). The IGRA followed the United States Supreme Court’s 1988 landmark Cabazon decision, affirming that tribes have the same right as states to engage in betting and games of chance to fund tribal governments. With this Act, gaming as an economic opportunity became a reality for tribes, just as it has for state governments that allow or engage in lotteries and other forms of betting. The High Court also reiterated a position of equity for tribes with states on the issue of regulating gaming, stating that tribes had the primary oversight for gaming on Indian lands.
Federal law is also unequivocal in its intent to protect gaming revenues for tribal governments by limiting attempts by states to take undue financial advantage or erode aspects of tribal sovereignty through the tribal-state compacting process provided for in IGRA, and to prevent overcharges by management companies or operators.
The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act requires that profits from casino gaming and related amenities, such as hotels, are used to fund government-type services. All funds earned by Harrah’s after prize payouts, management, and operations costs are deducted belong to the Rincon people. As assets of the Rincon Band, the funds are placed in the tribal government treasury. The tribal council represents the people in managing the tribal income and acts as board of directors of Harrah’s Resort Southern California, and other tribal enterprises.