[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 79 (Wednesday, April 24, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 24061-24063]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-09604]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

National Indian Gaming Commission

25 CFR Part 547

RIN 3141-AA27


Minimum Technical Standards for Class II Gaming Systems and 
Equipment

AGENCY: National Indian Gaming Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC or Commission) is 
amending its rules regarding technical standards for Class II gaming 
systems and equipment to harmonize the charitable gaming exemption 
amount in the technical standards with the charitable gaming exemption 
amount in its Class II minimum internal control standards.

DATES: The effective date of these regulations is May 24, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Hoenig, Senior Attorney, 
National Indian Gaming Commission, 1441 L Street NW., Suite 9100, 
Washington, DC 20005. Email: michael_hoenig@nigc.gov; telephone: 202-
632-7003.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA or the Act), Public Law 100-
497, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq., was signed into law on October 17, 1988. 
The Act established the Commission and set out a comprehensive 
framework for the regulation of gaming on Indian lands. The Act 
requires the Commission to ``monitor class II gaming conducted on 
Indian lands on a continuing basis'' and to ``promulgate such 
regulations and

[[Page 24062]]

guidelines as it deems appropriate to implement'' IGRA. 25 U.S.C. 
2706(b)(1), (b)(10).
    In 2008, the NIGC published a final rule in the Federal Register 
that established technical standards for ensuring the integrity of 
electronic Class II games and aids. 73 FR 60508, Oct. 10, 2008. The 
technical standards were designed to assist tribal gaming regulatory 
authorities and operators with ensuring the integrity and security of 
Class II gaming, the accountability of Class II gaming revenue, and 
provided guidance to equipment manufacturers and distributors of Class 
II gaming systems. The standards did not classify which games were 
Class II games and which games were Class III games.

II. Previous Rulemaking Activity

    In 2012, the NIGC published a final rule in the Federal Register 
amending its part 547 technical standards to: Change the order of the 
first five sections; add definitions and amend existing definitions; 
amend requirements and time restrictions for grandfathered Class II 
gaming systems; amend the requirements concerning minimum odds for 
Class II games; amend standards for test labs; remove references to the 
Federal Communications Commission and Underwriters Laboratory; require 
a player interface to display a serial number and date of manufacture; 
amend requirements concerning approval of downloads to a Class II 
gaming system; and to clarify the term ``alternate standard.'' 77 FR 
58473, Sept. 21, 2012. In addition, Sec.  547.5(e)(5) of the rule 
states that the part does not apply to a charitable gaming operation 
provided that, among other requirements, the amount of gross gaming 
revenue of the charitable gaming operation does not exceed $1 million. 
The rule became effective on October 22, 2012.
    At the same time that the NIGC amended and published part 547, it 
amended and published rules containing minimum internal control 
standards (MICS) for Class II gaming. 77 FR 58708, Sept. 21, 2012. 
Similar to the part 547 technical standards, the part 543 MICS exempt 
charitable gaming operations that earn less than a set threshold 
amount. However, the Commission increased the threshold amount in the 
MICS from $1 million to $3 million.
    In February 2013, the Commission published a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking proposing to revise the threshold amount in Sec.  
547.5(e)(5) from $1 million to $3 million in order to harmonize the 
charitable gaming exemption amounts in the technical standards and the 
MICS to ensure that the exemption for a ``charitable gaming operation'' 
is consistent throughout the Commission's rules (78 FR 11795, Feb. 20, 
2013).

III. Review of Public Comments

    In response to its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on 
February 20, 2013, the Commission received the following comments:

547.5 How does a tribal government, TGRA, or tribal gaming operation 
comply with this part?

    Comment: One commenter commended the current Commission for its 
efforts to improve existing regulations and for the diligence with 
which it has undertaken its efforts to consult with tribes. The 
commenter agrees that the proposed revision is needed in order to match 
the charitable gaming exemption thresholds of both the technical 
standards and the MICS.
    Response: No response is necessary.
    Comment: One commenter stated that he was puzzled by the $3 million 
charitable gaming exemption amount, and requested clarification on 
whether this threshold amount will have an impact on the amount of 
Class II gaming revenue fees that are required to be paid to the NIGC.
    Response: The Commission states that the $3 million threshold 
amount does not impact the amount of Class II gaming revenue fees that 
are required to be paid to the NIGC; but instead, merely exempts 
charitable gaming operations whose annual gross gaming revenue does not 
exceed $3 million from having to abide by the technical standards 
contained in part 547. The Commission believes that no further 
revisions to these rules are necessary.

Regulatory Matters

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The 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 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 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 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 as required 
by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq., and assigned 
OMB Control Number 3141-0014. The OMB control number expires on 
November 30, 2015.

List of Subjects in 25 CFR Part 547

    Gambling; Indian--Indian lands; Indian--tribal government.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Commission amends 25 
CFR part 547 as follows:

PART 547--MINIMUM TECHNICAL STANDARDS FOR CLASS II GAMING SYSTEMS 
AND EQUIPMENT

0
1. The authority citation for part 547 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  25 U.S.C. 2706(b).


0
2. In Sec.  547.5, revise paragraph (e)(5) to read as follows:

[[Page 24063]]

Sec.  547.5  How does a tribal government, TGRA, or tribal gaming 
operation comply with this part?

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (5) The annual gross gaming revenue of the charitable gaming 
operation does not exceed $3,000,000.
* * * * *

    Dated: April 18, 2013.
Tracie L. Stevens,
Chairwoman.
Daniel J. Little,
Associate Commissioner.
[FR Doc. 2013-09604 Filed 4-23-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7565-01-P