[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 196 (Tuesday, October 11, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 62684-62689]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-25955]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Indian Gaming Commission

25 CFR Part 514

RIN 3141-AA40


Fees

AGENCY: National Indian Gaming Commission, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) proposes to amend 
its fee regulations by requiring tribes to submit their fees and fee 
statements on a quarterly basis, basing the fee calculation on the 
gaming operation's fiscal year, establishing an assessment for fees 
submitted one to 90 days late, and establishing a fingerprinting fee 
payment process.

DATES: The agency must receive comments on or before December 12, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any one of the following methods, 
however, please note that comments sent by electronic mail are strongly 
encouraged.
     E-mail comments to: reg.review@nigc.gov.
     Mail comments to: National Indian Gaming Commission, 1441 
L Street, NW., Suite 9100, Washington, DC 20005.
     Hand deliver comments to: 1441 L Street, NW., Suite 9100, 
Washington, DC 20005.
     Fax comments to: National Indian Gaming Commission at 202-
632-0045.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: National Indian Gaming Commission, 
1441 L Street, NW., Suite 9100 Washington, DC 20005. Telephone: 202-
632-7009; e-mail: reg.review@nigc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed 
rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they 
may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the 
views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing 
reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal.

II. Background

    The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA or Act), Public Law 100-497, 
25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq., was signed into law on October 17, 1988. The 
Act establishes the National Indian Gaming Commission (``Commission'') 
and sets out a comprehensive framework for the regulation of gaming on 
Indian lands. The purposes of IGRA include providing a statutory basis 
for the operation of gaming by Indian Tribes as a means of promoting 
tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal 
governments; ensuring that the Indian tribe is the primary beneficiary 
of the gaming operation; and declaring that the establishment of 
independent federal regulatory authority for gaming on Indian lands, 
the establishment of federal standards for gaming on Indian lands, and 
the establishment of a National Indian Gaming Commission are necessary 
to meet congressional concerns regarding gaming and to protect such 
gaming as a means of generating tribal revenue. 25 U.S.C. 2702.
    The IGRA established an agency funding framework whereby gaming 
operations licensed by tribes pay a fee to the Commission for each 
gaming operation that conducts Class II or Class III gaming activity 
that is regulated by IGRA. 25 U.S.C. 2717(a)(1). These fees are used to 
fund the Commission in carrying out its regulatory authority. Fees are 
based on the gaming operation's gross revenues which are defined as the 
annual total amount of money wagered, less any amounts paid out as 
prizes or paid for prizes awarded and less allowance for amortization 
of capital expenditures for structures. 25 U.S.C. 2717(a)(6). The rate 
of fees is established annually by the Commission and shall be payable 
on a quarterly basis. 25 U.S.C. 2717(a)(3). IGRA limits the total 
amount of fees imposed during any fiscal year to .08 percent of the 
gross gaming revenues of all gaming operations subject to regulation 
under IGRA. Failure of a gaming operation to pay the fees imposed by 
the Commission's fee schedule can be grounds for a civil enforcement 
action. 25 U.S.C. 2713(a)(1). The purpose of Part 514 is to establish 
how the NIGC sets and collects those fees, to establish a basic formula 
for tribes to utilize in calculating the amount of fees to pay, and to 
advise of the consequences for failure to pay the fees.
    On November 18, 2010, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) 
issued a Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Consultation advising the 
public that the NIGC was conducting a comprehensive review of its 
regulations and requesting public comment on which of its regulations 
were most in need of revision, in what order the Commission should 
review its regulations, and the process NIGC should utilize to make 
revisions. 75 FR 70680. On April 4, 2011, after holding eight 
consultations and reviewing all comments, NIGC published a Notice of 
Regulatory Review Schedule (NRR) setting out a consultation schedule 
and process for review. 76 FR 18457. Part 514 was included in the first 
regulatory group reviewed pursuant to the NRR.

III. Development of the Proposed Rule

    The Commission conducted a total of 11 tribal consultations as part 
of its review of Part 514. Tribal consultations were held in every 
region of the country

[[Page 62685]]

and were attended by over 189 tribes and 535 tribal leaders or their 
representatives. In addition to tribal consultations, on May 10, 2011, 
the Commission requested public comment on a Preliminary Draft of 
amendments to Part 514. 76 FR 26967. After considering the comments 
received from the public and through tribal consultations, the 
Commission proposes five amendments to Part 514: changing the fee 
calculation from a calendar year to a fiscal year basis; changing the 
payment schedule to a quarterly payment system; ensuring language is 
consistent with industry standards; creating a ticketing system for 
payments submitted late; and formalizing the fingerprinting fee system. 
The Commission does not propose any amendments to the definition of 
gross gaming revenue.

A. Change the Fee Calculation to a Calculation Based on a Gaming 
Operation's Fiscal Year

    Currently, each gaming operation regulated by IGRA must submit fee 
statements showing the calculation of assessable gross revenues for the 
previous calendar year. The Preliminary Draft of amendments to Part 514 
proposed changing the timeframe of the fee calculation from the 
calendar year to the gaming operation's fiscal year. It is important to 
note that fees set by the Commission continue to be based on the gross 
gaming revenues of tribes, subject to the .08 percent limit established 
by 25 U.S.C. 2717. Comments received on the Preliminary Draft of Part 
514 generally supported basing annual fees on a gaming operation's 
fiscal year rather than a calendar year. One commenter objected to the 
use of a fiscal year for calculating annual fees. The commenter 
expressed concern created by a conversion from a calendar year to a 
fiscal year and the inevitable overlap period that conversion would 
create.
    In this proposed rule, Section 514.7 addresses the overlap period 
by requiring the tribe to notify the Commission of the ``stub period'' 
and submit the financial statements and fees for that period within 90 
days of the tribe's request. Further, this proposed rule does not 
mandate a tribe change their fiscal year. While many tribes utilize a 
fiscal year that is not based on the calendar year, other tribes do 
utilize a fiscal year based on a calendar year. The Commission believes 
that the use of a fiscal year for calculating annual fees and 
completing fee statements will result in fewer inaccuracies in the 
calculation. The Commission notes that errors in calculating the fees 
have occurred as a result of a gaming operation's fiscal year being 
different than the calendar year. This proposed amendment changes the 
annual timeframe for calculating the fees; the formula contained in the 
regulation for calculating the assessable gross gaming revenue remains 
the same. The Commission believes that this proposed amendment will 
result in greater efficiencies for both NIGC and tribes by reducing the 
likelihood of errors in the fee calculation.

B. Require Submission of Quarterly Fee Statements and Payments

    Part 514 currently requires each gaming operation regulated by IGRA 
to submit bi-annual fee statements showing its assessable gross 
revenues and to submit fee payment with those statements. The 
statements must show the amounts derived from each class of game, the 
amounts deducted for prizes, and amounts deducted for amortization of 
structures. The statements must also include the computation of the 
fees payable, showing all the amounts used in the calculation. The 
statements are due on or before June 30th and December 31st of each 
year.
    The Preliminary Draft of Part 514 proposed changing from a bi-
annual submission requirement to a quarterly submission requirement. 
Comments support this proposed amendment, noting however, that there 
should be no prohibition on pre-paying the fees for an entire year. The 
Commission is not proposing a revision that would prohibit pre-payment. 
However, quarterly fee statements are still required, even if the fee 
has been prepaid. Based on a review of the comments received, the 
Commission proposes to amend Part 514 to require the submission of 
quarterly fee statements and payments.

C. Ensure Regulation Language is Consistent With Industry Standards

    The discussion draft Part 514 proposed amendments which would 
utilize standard industry language. The discussion draft proposed 
changing ``admission fees'' to ``entry fees''. ``Entry fee'' is a term 
commonly used in the gaming industry and the Commission believes the 
clarification will eliminate concern that an ``admission fee'' includes 
admission to concerts or other non-gaming activity. The Commission did 
not receive any comments on the Preliminary Draft that opposed the 
changes. Accordingly, the Commission proposes amending Part 514 to 
incorporate these revisions.

D. Revise the Late Payment Fee System

    IGRA and NIGC regulations provide that a failure to pay fees may 
result in closure or revocation of approval of any license, ordinance, 
or resolution required under IGRA. The NIGC has issued Notices of 
Violation (NOV) and civil fine assessments to tribes submitting their 
fees late. The Commission notes that because the NIGC does not receive 
federal appropriations to fund its operations, it is vital that fees 
are submitted in a timely manner to ensure the continued funding of 
NIGC operations. Tribes have commented that a NOV for the late payment 
of fees can be an unnecessarily punitive response. In response to this 
concern, the Commission circulated in the Preliminary Draft a fine 
system that would address fees paid less than and upto 90 days after 
they are due.
    Comments received on the Preliminary Draft supported the 
development of a system that addresses a late payment in a tiered 
approach. Comments acknowledged the need for submission of fees in a 
timely manner, but also noted that the circumstances of minor delays 
should be considered before issuance of a NOV and civil fine 
assessment.
    The Commission proposes amending Part 514 to add a ``ticket'' 
system which assesses a fine for a late fee payment. The proposed Rule 
distinguishes between ``late payments'' and ``failure to pay annual 
fees.'' A payment received between 1 and 90 days late is a ``late 
payment'' and would be subject to an increasing percentage based late 
payment fine. A payment received after 90 days constitutes a ``failure 
to pay annual fees'' and subjects the tribe to a potential NOV and 
civil fine assessment. The proposed rule also includes a mechanism 
whereby the Chair may consider any mitigating circumstances surrounding 
the late payments and reduce the fine due. Per federal law, any fines 
are payable to U.S. Treasury, not the NIGC.

E. Formalize the Fingerprinting Fee Process

    The NOI asked whether the Part should include a section on 
fingerprint processing fees. Comments received in response to the NOI 
supported this revision.
    The Commission included in the Preliminary Draft provisions for the 
collection of fees for processing fingerprints. The section requires 
the Commission to adopt preliminary rates for processing fingerprints 
at the same time as the annual fee schedule is set and modified (March 
1 and June 1 of each year). If a tribe fails to pay its bill for 
fingerprint fees, the Chair may suspend further fingerprint card 
processing for that tribe.

[[Page 62686]]

    Comments received supported this revision. Some comments expressed 
concern about fluctuating costs and the need to adjust costs as needed. 
In order to address this issue, the proposed rule provides for the 
Commission to review the fee rate annually and establish a preliminary 
rate in March and adopt a final rate in July of each year. Another 
comment recommended the fingerprinting fees being included in the 
calculation of net revenues as a statutorily required operating 
expense. The proposed draft does not include this language as net 
revenues is a statutorily defined term.
    The proposed amendment includes the provisions circulated in the 
Preliminary Draft. The Commission believes formalizing the procedures 
for assessing fingerprint card processing fees in a regulation provides 
transparency and clarity.

F. Definition of Gross Gaming Revenue

    In the Notice of Inquiry, the Commission asked whether the 
definition of gross gaming revenue should be revised to include the 
GAAP definition. The discussion draft however, did not include this 
revision. Comments noted that the GAAP definition, while providing a 
standard definition, may be inconsistent with the definition contained 
in the Act. The Commission agrees and therefore does not propose any 
change to the definition of gross gaming revenue.

Regulatory Matters

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The proposed rule will not have a significant impact on a 
substantial number of small entities as defined under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. Moreover, Indian Tribes are not 
considered to be small entities for the purposes of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    The proposed rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. The rule does not 
have an effect on the economy of $100 million or more. The rule will 
not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual 
industries, Federal, State, local government agencies or geographic 
regions. Nor will the proposed rule have a significant adverse effect 
on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or 
the ability of the enterprises, to compete with foreign based 
enterprises.

Unfunded Mandate Reform Act

    The Commission, as an independent regulatory agency, is exempt from 
compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502(1); 2 
U.S.C. 658(1).

Takings

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the Commission has 
determined that the proposed rule does not have significant takings 
implications. A takings implication assessment is not required.

Civil Justice Reform

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Commission has 
determined that the rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and 
meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Order.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The Commission has determined that the rule does not constitute a 
major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human 
environment and that no detailed statement is required pursuant to the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The information collection requirements contained in this rule were 
previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as 
required by 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and assigned OMB Control Number 
3141-0007, which expired in August of 2011. The NIGC is in the process 
of reinstating that Control Number.

    Authority: 25 U.S.C. 2706(b)(10); E.O. 13175.

Dated: October 3, 2011, Washington, DC.

Text of the Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the Preamble, the Commission proposes 
to revise 25 CFR part 514 to read as follows:

PART 514--FEES

Sec.
514.1 What is the purpose of this part?
514.2 When will the annual rates be published?
514.3 What is the maximum fee rate?
514.4 What are ``assessable gross revenues'' and how does a tribe 
calculate the amount of the annual fees it owes?
514.5 When must a tribe pay its annual fees?
514.6 What are the quarterly statements that must be submitted with 
the fee payments?
514.7 What should a tribe do if it changes its fiscal year?
514.8 Where should fees, quarterly statements, and other 
communications about fees be sent?
514.9 What happens if a tribe submits its fee payment or quarterly 
statement late?
514.10 When does a late payment or quarterly statement submission 
become a failure to pay?
514.11 Can a tribe or gaming operation appeal a proposed late fee?
514.12 When does a notice of late submission and/or a proposed late 
fee become a final order of the Commission and final agency action?
514.13 How are late submission fees paid, and can interest be 
assessed?
514.14 What happens if a tribe overpays its fees or if the 
Commission does not expend the full amount of fees collected in a 
fiscal year?
514.15 May tribes submit fingerprint cards to the NIGC for 
processing?
514.16 How does the Commission adopt the fingerprint processing fee?
514.17 How are fingerprint processing fees collected by the 
Commission?

    Authority:  25 U.S.C. 2706, 2710, 2710, 2717, 2717a


Sec.  514.1  What is the purpose of this part?

    Each gaming operation under the jurisdiction of the Commission, 
including a tribe with a certificate of self-regulation, shall pay to 
the Commission annual fees as established by the Commission. The 
Commission, by a vote of not less than two of its members, shall adopt 
the rates of fees to be paid.


Sec.  514.2  When will the annual rates be published?

    (a) The Commission shall adopt preliminary rates for each calendar 
year no later than March 1st of each year, and, if considered 
necessary, shall modify those rates no later than June 1st of that 
year.
    (b) The Commission shall publish the rates of fees in a notice in 
the Federal Register.


Sec.  514.3  What is the maximum fee rate?

    (a) The rates of fees imposed shall be--
    (1) No more than 2.5 percent of the first $1,500,000 (1st tier), 
and
    (2) No more than 5 percent of amounts in excess of the first 
$1,500,000 (2nd tier) of the assessable gross revenues from each gaming 
operation subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission.
    (b) If a tribe has a certificate of self-regulation, the rate of 
fees imposed shall be no more than .25 percent of assessable gross 
revenues from self-regulated class II gaming operations.

[[Page 62687]]

Sec.  514.4  What are ``assessable gross revenues'' and how does a 
tribe calculate the amount of the annual fee it owes?

    (a) For purposes of computing fees, assessable gross revenues for 
each gaming operation are the annual total amount of money wagered on 
class II and III games, entry fees (including table or card fees), less 
any amounts paid out as prizes or paid for prizes awarded, and less an 
allowance for amortization of capital expenditures for structures as 
reflected in the gaming operation's audited financial statements.
    (b) Each gaming operation subject to these regulations shall 
calculate the annual fee based on the gaming operation's fiscal year.
    (c) Unless otherwise provided by the regulations, generally 
accepted accounting principles shall be used.
    (d) The allowance for amortization of capital expenditures for 
structures shall be either:
    (1) An amount not to exceed 5% of the cost of structures in use 
throughout the year and 2.5% (two and one-half percent) of the cost of 
structures in use during only a part of the year; or
    (2) An amount not to exceed 10% of the total amount of depreciation 
expenses for the year.
    (e) Examples of computations follow:
    (1) For paragraph (d)(1) of this section:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gross gaming revenues:
    Money wagered.............................   $1,000,000  ...........
    Entry fees................................        5,000  ...........
                                                ...........   $1,005,000
Less:
    Prizes paid in cash.......................      500,000  ...........
    Cost of other prizes awarded..............       10,000      510,000
    Gross gaming profit.......................      495,000  ...........
    Less allowance for amortization of capital  ...........  ...........
     expenditures for structures:
    Capital expenditures for structures made
     in--
        Prior years...........................      750,000  ...........
        Current year..........................       50,000  ...........
    Maximum allowance:
        $750,000 x .05 =......................       37,500  ...........
        50,000 x .025 =.......................        1,250       38,750
                                               -------------------------
    Assessable gross revenues.................  ...........      456,250
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) For paragraph (d)(2) of this section:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gross gaming revenues:
    Money wagered.............................  ...........   $1,000,000
    Entry fees................................       $5,000    1,005,000
Less:
    Prizes paid in cash.......................      500,000
    Cost of other prizes awarded..............       10,000      510,000
    Gross gaming profit.......................      495,000  ...........
    Less allowance for amortization of capital
     expenditures for structures:
    Total amount of depreciation per books....      400,000
    Maximum allowance:
        $400,000 x .10 =......................  ...........       40,000
    Gross gaming revenues.....................      455,000  ...........
    Assessable gross revenues.................      455,000  ...........
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (f) All class II and III revenues from gaming operations are to be 
included.


Sec.  514.5  When must a tribe pay its annual fees?

    Each gaming operation shall calculate the amount of fees to be paid 
and remit them with the quarterly statement required in Sec.  514.6. 
The fees payable shall be computed using:
    (a) The most recent rates of fees adopted by the Commission 
pursuant to paragraph (a) of Sec.  514.1,
    (b) The assessable gross revenues for the previous fiscal year as 
calculated using Sec.  514.4, and
    (c) The amounts paid and credits received during the fiscal year, 
if applicable.


Sec.  514.6  What are the quarterly statements that must be submitted 
with the fee payments?

    (a) Each gaming operation subject to the jurisdiction of the 
Commission shall file with the Commission quarterly statements showing 
its assessable gross revenues for the previous fiscal year.
    (b) These statements shall show the amounts derived from each type 
of game, the amounts deducted for prizes, and the amounts deducted for 
the amortization of structures.
    (c) The quarterly statements shall be sent to the Commission within 
three (3) months, six (6) months, nine (9) months, and twelve (12) 
months of the end of the gaming operation's fiscal year.
    (d) The quarterly statements shall identify an individual or 
individuals to be contacted should the Commission need to communicate 
further with the gaming operation. The telephone numbers of the 
individual(s) shall be included.
    (e) Each quarterly statement shall include the computation of the 
fees payable, showing all amounts used in the calculations. The 
required calculations are as follows:
    (1) Multiply the 1st tier assessable gross revenues, as calculated 
using Sec.  514.4, by the rate for those revenues adopted by the 
Commission.
    (2) Multiply the 2nd tier assessable gross revenues, as calculated 
using Sec.  514.4, by the rate for those revenues adopted by the 
Commission.
    (3) Add (total) the results (products) obtained in paragraphs 
(e)(1) and (2) of this section.

[[Page 62688]]

    (4) Multiply the total obtained in paragraph (e)(3) of this section 
by \1/4.\
    (5) The amount computed in paragraph (e)(4) of this section is the 
amount to be remitted.
    (f) Examples of fee computations follow:
    (1) Where a filing is made for the first quarter of the fiscal 
year, the previous year's assessable gross revenues as calculated using 
section 514.4 of this Part are $2,000,000, the fee rates adopted by the 
Commission are 0.0% on the first $1,500,000 and .08% on the remainder, 
the amounts to be used and the computations to be made are as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1st tier revenues--$1,500,000 x 0.0% =...........................      0
2nd tier revenues--500,000 x .08% =..............................   $400
    Annual fees..................................................    400
Multiply for fraction of year-- \1/4\ or                             .25
    Fees for first payment.......................................    100
        Amount to be remitted....................................    100
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     (2) [Reserved]
    (g) As required by part 571 of this chapter, quarterly statements 
must be reconciled with a tribe's audited or reviewed financial 
statements for each gaming location. These reconciliations must be made 
available upon the request of any authorized representative of the 
NIGC.


Sec.  514.7  What should a tribe do if it changes its fiscal year?

    If a gaming operation changes its fiscal year, it shall notify the 
Commission of the change within thirty (30) days. The Commission may 
request that the tribe prepare and submit to the Commission the fees 
and statements required by this subsection for the stub period from the 
end of the previous fiscal year to the beginning of the new fiscal 
year. The submission must be sent to the Commission within ninety (90) 
days of its request.


Sec.  514.8  Where should fees, quarterly statements, and other 
communications about fees be sent?

    The statements, remittances and communications about fees shall be 
transmitted to the Commission at the following address: Comptroller, 
National Indian Gaming Commission, 1441 L Street, NW., Suite 9100, 
Washington, DC 20005. Checks should be made payable to the National 
Indian Gaming Commission (do not remit cash).


Sec.  514.9  What happens if a tribe submits its fee payment or 
quarterly statement late?

    (a) In the event that a gaming operation fails to submit a fee 
payment or quarterly statement in a timely manner, the Chair of the 
Commission may issue a notice specifying:
    (1) The date the statement and/or payment was due;
    (2) The number of calendar days late the statement and/or payment 
was submitted;
    (3) A citation to the federal or tribal requirement that has been 
or is being violated;
    (4) The action being considered by the Chair; and
    (5) Notice of rights of appeal pursuant to part 577 of this 
chapter.
    (b) Within fifteen (15) days of service of the notice, a respondent 
may submit written information about the notice to the Chair. The Chair 
shall consider any information submitted by the respondent as well as 
the respondent's history of untimely submissions or failure to file 
statements and/or fee payments over the preceding five (5) years in 
determining the amount of the late fee, if any.
    (c) When practicable, within thirty (30) days of issuing the notice 
described in paragraph (a) of this section to a respondent, the Chair 
of the Commission may assess a proposed late fee against a respondent 
for each failure to file a timely quarterly statement and/or fee 
payment:
    (1) For statements and/or fee payments one (1) to thirty (30) 
calendar days late, the Chair may propose a late fee of up to, but not 
more than ten percent (10%) of the fee amount for that quarter, as 
calculated in Sec.  514.6(e);
    (2) For statements and/or fee payments thirty-one (31) to sixty 
(60) calendar days late, the Chair may propose a late fee of up to, but 
not more than fifteen percent (15%) of the fee amount for that quarter, 
as calculated in Sec.  514.6(e);
    (3) For statements and/or fee payments sixty-one (61) to ninety 
(90) calendar days late, the Chair may propose a late fee of up to, but 
not more than twenty percent (20%) of the fee amount for that quarter, 
as calculated in Sec.  514.6(e).


Sec.  514.10  When does a late payment or quarterly statement 
submission become a failure to pay?

    (a) Statements and/or fee payments over ninety (90) calendar days 
late constitute a failure to pay the annual fee, as set forth in IGRA, 
25 U.S.C. 2717(a)(3), and NIGC regulations, 25 CFR 573.6(a)(2). In 
accordance with 25 U.S.C. 2717(a)(3), failure to pay fees shall be 
grounds for revocation of the approval of the Chair of any license, 
ordinance or resolution required under IGRA for the operation of 
gaming.
    (b) In accordance with Sec.  573.6(a)(2) of this chapter, if a 
tribe, management contractor, or individually owned gaming operation 
fails to pay the annual fee, the Chair may issue a notice of violation 
and, simultaneously with or subsequently to the notice of violation, a 
temporary closure order.


Sec.  514.11  Can a tribe or gaming operation appeal a proposed late 
fee?

    (a) Proposed late fees assessed by the Chair may be appealed under 
part 577 of this chapter.
    (b) At any time prior to the filing of a notice of appeal under 
part 577 of this chapter, the Chair and the respondent may agree to 
settle the notice of late submission, including the amount of the 
proposed late fee. In the event a settlement is reached, a settlement 
agreement shall be prepared and executed by the Chair and the 
respondent. If a settlement agreement is executed, the respondent shall 
be deemed to have waived all rights to further review of the notice or 
late fee in question, except as otherwise provided expressly in the 
settlement agreement. In the absence of a settlement of the issues 
under this paragraph, the respondent may contest the proposed late fee 
before the Commission in accordance with part 577 of this chapter.


Sec.  514.12  When does a notice of late submission and/or a proposed 
late fee become a final order of the Commission and final agency 
action?

    If the respondent fails to appeal under part 577 of this chapter, 
the notice and the proposed late fee shall become a final order of the 
Commission and final agency action.


Sec.  514.13  How are late submission fees paid, and can interest be 
assessed?

    (a) Late fees assessed under this part shall be paid by the person 
or entity assessed and shall not be treated as an operating expense of 
the operation.
    (b) The Commission shall transfer the late fee paid under this 
subchapter to the U.S. Treasury.
    (c) Interest shall be assessed at rates established from time to 
time by the Secretary of the Treasury on amounts remaining unpaid after 
their due date.


Sec.  514.14  What happens if a tribe overpays its fees or if the 
Commission does not expend the full amount of fees collected in a 
fiscal year?

    (a) The total amount of all fees imposed during any fiscal year 
shall not exceed the statutory maximum imposed by Congress. The 
Commission shall credit pro-rata any fees collected in excess of this 
amount against amounts otherwise due according to Sec.  514.4.
    (b) To the extent that revenue derived from fees imposed under the 
schedule

[[Page 62689]]

established under this paragraph are not expended or committed at the 
close of any fiscal year, such funds shall remain available until 
expended to defray the costs of operations of the Commission.


Sec.  514.15  May tribes submit fingerprint cards to the NIGC for 
processing?

    Tribes may submit fingerprint cards to the Commission for 
processing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the 
Commission may charge a fee to process fingerprint cards on behalf of 
the tribes.


Sec.  514.16  How does the Commission adopt the fingerprint processing 
fee?

    (a) The Commission shall review annually the costs involved in 
processing fingerprint cards and, by a vote of not less than two of its 
members, shall adopt preliminary rates for each calendar year no later 
than March 1st of that year, and, if considered necessary, shall modify 
those rates no later than June 1st of that year.
    (b) The fingerprint fee charge shall be based on fees charged by 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation and costs incurred by the 
Commission. Commission costs include Commission personnel, supplies, 
equipment costs, and postage to submit the results to the requesting 
tribe.


Sec.  514.17  How are fingerprint processing fees collected by the 
Commission?

    (a) Fees for processing fingerprint cards will be billed monthly to 
each Tribe for cards processed during the prior month. Tribes shall pay 
the amount billed within forty-five (45) days of the date of the bill.
    (b) The Chair may suspend fingerprint card processing for a tribe 
that has a bill remaining unpaid for more than forty-five (45) days.
    (c) Fingerprint fees shall be sent to the following address: 
Comptroller, National Indian Gaming Commission, 1441 L Street, NW., 
Suite 9100, Washington, DC 20005. Checks should be made payable to the 
National Indian Gaming Commission (do not remit cash).

    Dated: October 3, 2011, Washington, DC.
Tracie L. Stevens,
Chairwoman.
Steffani A. Cochran,
Vice-Chairwoman.
Daniel J. Little,
Associate Commissioner.
[FR Doc. 2011-25955 Filed 10-7-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7565-01-P