25 U.S.C. § 2710 : US Code - Section 2710: Tribal gaming ordinances

    (a) Jurisdiction over class I and class II gaming activity
      (1) Class I gaming on Indian lands is within the exclusive
    jurisdiction of the Indian tribes and shall not be subject to the
    provisions of this chapter.
      (2) Any class II gaming on Indian lands shall continue to be
    within the jurisdiction of the Indian tribes, but shall be subject
    to the provisions of this chapter.
    (b) Regulation of class II gaming activity; net revenue allocation;
      audits; contracts
      (1) An Indian tribe may engage in, or license and regulate, class
    II gaming on Indian lands within such tribe's jurisdiction, if - 
        (A) such Indian gaming is located within a State that permits
      such gaming for any purpose by any person, organization or entity
      (and such gaming is not otherwise specifically prohibited on
      Indian lands by Federal law), and
        (B) the governing body of the Indian tribe adopts an ordinance
      or resolution which is approved by the Chairman.

    A separate license issued by the Indian tribe shall be required for
    each place, facility, or location on Indian lands at which class II
    gaming is conducted.
      (2) The Chairman shall approve any tribal ordinance or resolution
    concerning the conduct, or regulation of class II gaming on the
    Indian lands within the tribe's jurisdiction if such ordinance or
    resolution provides that - 
        (A) except as provided in paragraph (4), the Indian tribe will
      have the sole proprietary interest and responsibility for the
      conduct of any gaming activity;
        (B) net revenues from any tribal gaming are not to be used for
      purposes other than - 
          (i) to fund tribal government operations or programs;
          (ii) to provide for the general welfare of the Indian tribe
        and its members;
          (iii) to promote tribal economic development;
          (iv) to donate to charitable organizations; or
          (v) to help fund operations of local government agencies;

        (C) annual outside audits of the gaming, which may be
      encompassed within existing independent tribal audit systems,
      will be provided by the Indian tribe to the Commission;
        (D) all contracts for supplies, services, or concessions for a
      contract amount in excess of $25,000 annually (except contracts
      for professional legal or accounting services) relating to such
      gaming shall be subject to such independent audits;
        (E) the construction and maintenance of the gaming facility,
      and the operation of that gaming is conducted in a manner which
      adequately protects the environment and the public health and
      safety; and
        (F) there is an adequate system which - 
          (i) ensures that background investigations are conducted on
        the primary management officials and key employees of the
        gaming enterprise and that oversight of such officials and
        their management is conducted on an ongoing basis; and
          (ii) includes - 
            (I) tribal licenses for primary management officials and
          key employees of the gaming enterprise with prompt
          notification to the Commission of the issuance of such
          licenses;
            (II) a standard whereby any person whose prior activities,
          criminal record, if any, or reputation, habits and
          associations pose a threat to the public interest or to the
          effective regulation of gaming, or create or enhance the
          dangers of unsuitable, unfair, or illegal practices and
          methods and activities in the conduct of gaming shall not be
          eligible for employment; and
            (III) notification by the Indian tribe to the Commission of
          the results of such background check before the issuance of
          any of such licenses.

      (3) Net revenues from any class II gaming activities conducted or
    licensed by any Indian tribe may be used to make per capita
    payments to members of the Indian tribe only if - 
        (A) the Indian tribe has prepared a plan to allocate revenues
      to uses authorized by paragraph (2)(B);
        (B) the plan is approved by the Secretary as adequate,
      particularly with respect to uses described in clause (i) or
      (iii) of paragraph (2)(B);
        (C) the interests of minors and other legally incompetent
      persons who are entitled to receive any of the per capita
      payments are protected and preserved and the per capita payments
      are disbursed to the parents or legal guardian of such minors or
      legal incompetents in such amounts as may be necessary for the
      health, education, or welfare, of the minor or other legally
      incompetent person under a plan approved by the Secretary and the
      governing body of the Indian tribe; and
        (D) the per capita payments are subject to Federal taxation and
      tribes notify members of such tax liability when payments are
      made.

      (4)(A) A tribal ordinance or resolution may provide for the
    licensing or regulation of class II gaming activities owned by any
    person or entity other than the Indian tribe and conducted on
    Indian lands, only if the tribal licensing requirements include the
    requirements described in the subclauses of subparagraph (B)(i) and
    are at least as restrictive as those established by State law
    governing similar gaming within the jurisdiction of the State
    within which such Indian lands are located. No person or entity,
    other than the Indian tribe, shall be eligible to receive a tribal
    license to own a class II gaming activity conducted on Indian lands
    within the jurisdiction of the Indian tribe if such person or
    entity would not be eligible to receive a State license to conduct
    the same activity within the jurisdiction of the State.
      (B)(i) The provisions of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph and
    the provisions of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (2) shall
    not bar the continued operation of an individually owned class II
    gaming operation that was operating on September 1, 1986, if - 
        (I) such gaming operation is licensed and regulated by an
      Indian tribe pursuant to an ordinance reviewed and approved by
      the Commission in accordance with section 2712 of this title,
        (II) income to the Indian tribe from such gaming is used only
      for the purposes described in paragraph (2)(B) of this
      subsection,
        (III) not less than 60 percent of the net revenues is income to
      the Indian tribe, and
        (IV) the owner of such gaming operation pays an appropriate
      assessment to the National Indian Gaming Commission under section
      2717(a)(1) of this title for regulation of such gaming.

      (ii) The exemption from the application of this subsection
    provided under this subparagraph may not be transferred to any
    person or entity and shall remain in effect only so long as the
    gaming activity remains within the same nature and scope as
    operated on October 17, 1988.
      (iii) Within sixty days of October 17, 1988, the Secretary shall
    prepare a list of each individually owned gaming operation to which
    clause (i) applies and shall publish such list in the Federal
    Register.
    (c) Issuance of gaming license; certificate of self-regulation
      (1) The Commission may consult with appropriate law enforcement
    officials concerning gaming licenses issued by an Indian tribe and
    shall have thirty days to notify the Indian tribe of any objections
    to issuance of such license.
      (2) If, after the issuance of a gaming license by an Indian
    tribe, reliable information is received from the Commission
    indicating that a primary management official or key employee does
    not meet the standard established under subsection
    (b)(2)(F)(ii)(II) of this section, the Indian tribe shall suspend
    such license and, after notice and hearing, may revoke such
    license.
      (3) Any Indian tribe which operates a class II gaming activity
    and which - 
        (A) has continuously conducted such activity for a period of
      not less than three years, including at least one year after
      October 17, 1988; and
        (B) has otherwise complied with the provisions of this section
      (!1)


    may petition the Commission for a certificate of self-regulation.
      (4) The Commission shall issue a certificate of self-regulation
    if it determines from available information, and after a hearing if
    requested by the tribe, that the tribe has - 
        (A) conducted its gaming activity in a manner which - 
          (i) has resulted in an effective and honest accounting of all
        revenues;
          (ii) has resulted in a reputation for safe, fair, and honest
        operation of the activity; and
          (iii) has been generally free of evidence of criminal or
        dishonest activity;

        (B) adopted and is implementing adequate systems for - 
          (i) accounting for all revenues from the activity;
          (ii) investigation, licensing, and monitoring of all
        employees of the gaming activity; and
          (iii) investigation, enforcement and prosecution of
        violations of its gaming ordinance and regulations; and

        (C) conducted the operation on a fiscally and economically
      sound basis.

      (5) During any year in which a tribe has a certificate for self-
    regulation - 
        (A) the tribe shall not be subject to the provisions of
      paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of section 2706(b) of this
      title;
        (B) the tribe shall continue to submit an annual independent
      audit as required by subsection (b)(2)(C) of this section and
      shall submit to the Commission a complete resume on all employees
      hired and licensed by the tribe subsequent to the issuance of a
      certificate of self-regulation; and
        (C) the Commission may not assess a fee on such activity
      pursuant to section 2717 of this title in excess of one quarter
      of 1 per centum of the gross revenue.

      (6) The Commission may, for just cause and after an opportunity
    for a hearing, remove a certificate of self-regulation by majority
    vote of its members.
    (d) Class III gaming activities; authorization; revocation; Tribal-
      State compact
      (1) Class III gaming activities shall be lawful on Indian lands
    only if such activities are - 
        (A) authorized by an ordinance or resolution that - 
          (i) is adopted by the governing body of the Indian tribe
        having jurisdiction over such lands,
          (ii) meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this
        section, and
          (iii) is approved by the Chairman,

        (B) located in a State that permits such gaming for any purpose
      by any person, organization, or entity, and
        (C) conducted in conformance with a Tribal-State compact
      entered into by the Indian tribe and the State under paragraph
      (3) that is in effect.

      (2)(A) If any Indian tribe proposes to engage in, or to authorize
    any person or entity to engage in, a class III gaming activity on
    Indian lands of the Indian tribe, the governing body of the Indian
    tribe shall adopt and submit to the Chairman an ordinance or
    resolution that meets the requirements of subsection (b) of this
    section.
      (B) The Chairman shall approve any ordinance or resolution
    described in subparagraph (A), unless the Chairman specifically
    determines that - 
        (i) the ordinance or resolution was not adopted in compliance
      with the governing documents of the Indian tribe, or
        (ii) the tribal governing body was significantly and unduly
      influenced in the adoption of such ordinance or resolution by any
      person identified in section 2711(e)(1)(D) of this title.

    Upon the approval of such an ordinance or resolution, the Chairman
    shall publish in the Federal Register such ordinance or resolution
    and the order of approval.
      (C) Effective with the publication under subparagraph (B) of an
    ordinance or resolution adopted by the governing body of an Indian
    tribe that has been approved by the Chairman under subparagraph
    (B), class III gaming activity on the Indian lands of the Indian
    tribe shall be fully subject to the terms and conditions of the
    Tribal-State compact entered into under paragraph (3) by the Indian
    tribe that is in effect.
      (D)(i) The governing body of an Indian tribe, in its sole
    discretion and without the approval of the Chairman, may adopt an
    ordinance or resolution revoking any prior ordinance or resolution
    that authorized class III gaming on the Indian lands of the Indian
    tribe. Such revocation shall render class III gaming illegal on the
    Indian lands of such Indian tribe.
      (ii) The Indian tribe shall submit any revocation ordinance or
    resolution described in clause (i) to the Chairman. The Chairman
    shall publish such ordinance or resolution in the Federal Register
    and the revocation provided by such ordinance or resolution shall
    take effect on the date of such publication.
      (iii) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection - 
        (I) any person or entity operating a class III gaming activity
      pursuant to this paragraph on the date on which an ordinance or
      resolution described in clause (i) that revokes authorization for
      such class III gaming activity is published in the Federal
      Register may, during the 1-year period beginning on the date on
      which such revocation ordinance or resolution is published under
      clause (ii), continue to operate such activity in conformance
      with the Tribal-State compact entered into under paragraph (3)
      that is in effect, and
        (II) any civil action that arises before, and any crime that is
      committed before, the close of such 1-year period shall not be
      affected by such revocation ordinance or resolution.

      (3)(A) Any Indian tribe having jurisdiction over the Indian lands
    upon which a class III gaming activity is being conducted, or is to
    be conducted, shall request the State in which such lands are
    located to enter into negotiations for the purpose of entering into
    a Tribal-State compact governing the conduct of gaming activities.
    Upon receiving such a request, the State shall negotiate with the
    Indian tribe in good faith to enter into such a compact.
      (B) Any State and any Indian tribe may enter into a Tribal-State
    compact governing gaming activities on the Indian lands of the
    Indian tribe, but such compact shall take effect only when notice
    of approval by the Secretary of such compact has been published by
    the Secretary in the Federal Register.
      (C) Any Tribal-State compact negotiated under subparagraph (A)
    may include provisions relating to - 
        (i) the application of the criminal and civil laws and
      regulations of the Indian tribe or the State that are directly
      related to, and necessary for, the licensing and regulation of
      such activity;
        (ii) the allocation of criminal and civil jurisdiction between
      the State and the Indian tribe necessary for the enforcement of
      such laws and regulations;
        (iii) the assessment by the State of such activities in such
      amounts as are necessary to defray the costs of regulating such
      activity;
        (iv) taxation by the Indian tribe of such activity in amounts
      comparable to amounts assessed by the State for comparable
      activities;
        (v) remedies for breach of contract;
        (vi) standards for the operation of such activity and
      maintenance of the gaming facility, including licensing; and
        (vii) any other subjects that are directly related to the
      operation of gaming activities.

      (4) Except for any assessments that may be agreed to under
    paragraph (3)(C)(iii) of this subsection, nothing in this section
    shall be interpreted as conferring upon a State or any of its
    political subdivisions authority to impose any tax, fee, charge, or
    other assessment upon an Indian tribe or upon any other person or
    entity authorized by an Indian tribe to engage in a class III
    activity. No State may refuse to enter into the negotiations
    described in paragraph (3)(A) based upon the lack of authority in
    such State, or its political subdivisions, to impose such a tax,
    fee, charge, or other assessment.
      (5) Nothing in this subsection shall impair the right of an
    Indian tribe to regulate class III gaming on its Indian lands
    concurrently with the State, except to the extent that such
    regulation is inconsistent with, or less stringent than, the State
    laws and regulations made applicable by any Tribal-State compact
    entered into by the Indian tribe under paragraph (3) that is in
    effect.
      (6) The provisions of section 1175 of title 15 shall not apply to
    any gaming conducted under a Tribal-State compact that - 
        (A) is entered into under paragraph (3) by a State in which
      gambling devices are legal, and
        (B) is in effect.

      (7)(A) The United States district courts shall have jurisdiction
    over - 
        (i) any cause of action initiated by an Indian tribe arising
      from the failure of a State to enter into negotiations with the
      Indian tribe for the purpose of entering into a Tribal-State
      compact under paragraph (3) or to conduct such negotiations in
      good faith,
        (ii) any cause of action initiated by a State or Indian tribe
      to enjoin a class III gaming activity located on Indian lands and
      conducted in violation of any Tribal-State compact entered into
      under paragraph (3) that is in effect, and
        (iii) any cause of action initiated by the Secretary to enforce
      the procedures prescribed under subparagraph (B)(vii).

      (B)(i) An Indian tribe may initiate a cause of action described
    in subparagraph (A)(i) only after the close of the 180-day period
    beginning on the date on which the Indian tribe requested the State
    to enter into negotiations under paragraph (3)(A).
      (ii) In any action described in subparagraph (A)(i), upon the
    introduction of evidence by an Indian tribe that - 
        (I) a Tribal-State compact has not been entered into under
      paragraph (3), and
        (II) the State did not respond to the request of the Indian
      tribe to negotiate such a compact or did not respond to such
      request in good faith,

    the burden of proof shall be upon the State to prove that the State
    has negotiated with the Indian tribe in good faith to conclude a
    Tribal-State compact governing the conduct of gaming activities.
      (iii) If, in any action described in subparagraph (A)(i), the
    court finds that the State has failed to negotiate in good faith
    with the Indian tribe to conclude a Tribal-State compact governing
    the conduct of gaming activities, the court shall order the State
    and the Indian Tribe (!2) to conclude such a compact within a 60-
    day period. In determining in such an action whether a State has
    negotiated in good faith, the court - 

        (I) may take into account the public interest, public safety,
      criminality, financial integrity, and adverse economic impacts on
      existing gaming activities, and
        (II) shall consider any demand by the State for direct taxation
      of the Indian tribe or of any Indian lands as evidence that the
      State has not negotiated in good faith.

      (iv) If a State and an Indian tribe fail to conclude a Tribal-
    State compact governing the conduct of gaming activities on the
    Indian lands subject to the jurisdiction of such Indian tribe
    within the 60-day period provided in the order of a court issued
    under clause (iii), the Indian tribe and the State shall each
    submit to a mediator appointed by the court a proposed compact that
    represents their last best offer for a compact. The mediator shall
    select from the two proposed compacts the one which best comports
    with the terms of this chapter and any other applicable Federal law
    and with the findings and order of the court.
      (v) The mediator appointed by the court under clause (iv) shall
    submit to the State and the Indian tribe the compact selected by
    the mediator under clause (iv).
      (vi) If a State consents to a proposed compact during the 60-day
    period beginning on the date on which the proposed compact is
    submitted by the mediator to the State under clause (v), the
    proposed compact shall be treated as a Tribal-State compact entered
    into under paragraph (3).
      (vii) If the State does not consent during the 60-day period
    described in clause (vi) to a proposed compact submitted by a
    mediator under clause (v), the mediator shall notify the Secretary
    and the Secretary shall prescribe, in consultation with the Indian
    tribe, procedures - 
        (I) which are consistent with the proposed compact selected by
      the mediator under clause (iv), the provisions of this chapter,
      and the relevant provisions of the laws of the State, and
        (II) under which class III gaming may be conducted on the
      Indian lands over which the Indian tribe has jurisdiction.

      (8)(A) The Secretary is authorized to approve any Tribal-State
    compact entered into between an Indian tribe and a State governing
    gaming on Indian lands of such Indian tribe.
      (B) The Secretary may disapprove a compact described in
    subparagraph (A) only if such compact violates - 
        (i) any provision of this chapter,
        (ii) any other provision of Federal law that does not relate to
      jurisdiction over gaming on Indian lands, or
        (iii) the trust obligations of the United States to Indians.

      (C) If the Secretary does not approve or disapprove a compact
    described in subparagraph (A) before the date that is 45 days after
    the date on which the compact is submitted to the Secretary for
    approval, the compact shall be considered to have been approved by
    the Secretary, but only to the extent the compact is consistent
    with the provisions of this chapter.
      (D) The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register notice of
    any Tribal-State compact that is approved, or considered to have
    been approved, under this paragraph.
      (9) An Indian tribe may enter into a management contract for the
    operation of a class III gaming activity if such contract has been
    submitted to, and approved by, the Chairman. The Chairman's review
    and approval of such contract shall be governed by the provisions
    of subsections (b), (c), (d), (f), (g), and (h) of section 2711 of
    this title.
    (e) Approval of ordinances
      For purposes of this section, by not later than the date that is
    90 days after the date on which any tribal gaming ordinance or
    resolution is submitted to the Chairman, the Chairman shall approve
    such ordinance or resolution if it meets the requirements of this
    section. Any such ordinance or resolution not acted upon at the end
    of that 90-day period shall be considered to have been approved by
    the Chairman, but only to the extent such ordinance or resolution
    is consistent with the provisions of this chapter.