WASHINGTON — On July 17, Chairman Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause, and Associate Commissioner Sequoyah Simermeyer of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) released the Fiscal Year 2016 Gross Gaming Revenue numbers totaling $31.2 billion, an overall increase of 4.4 percent.
"The success reflected in the 2016 gross gaming revenue is due, at least in part, to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act's promotion of tribal self-determination principals," said the Chair of the NIGC, Jonodev O. Chaudhuri.
In the 1970s rural Tribes began gaming, mostly as small bingo facilities, as a means to provide revenue and jobs for their people and to manifest self-determination. The same holds true today as is evident by 57 percent of gaming revenue being generated by small or moderately sized Indian gaming operations grossing less than $25 million per year. For gaming tribes, revenue has become a lifeline to generate economic development and supplement moderate funding received from federal government programs and services.
Revenues are calculated based on 484 independently audited financial statements, comprised of 244 federally recognized Tribes across 29 States. The GGR for an operation is calculated based on (1) the amount wagered minus winnings returned to players and (2) earnings before salaries, tribal-state compacts and operating expenses. Each of the NIGC administrative regions showed growth during FY16 with the following increases being reported:
• Sacramento Region (6.3 percent)
• Oklahoma City Region (5.7 percent)
• Portland Region (5.1 percent)
• Phoenix Region (4.4 percent)
• Tulsa Region (4.0 percent)
• Washington, DC Region (3.8 percent)
• St. Paul Region (1.1 percent)
"The stable growth is reflective of a healthy and well regulated industry with a tremendous impact on local and state economies," said Chairman Chaudhuri. "When Congress passed IGRA almost thirty years ago, it expressly cited in its findings and purposes the long standing federal policy goal to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments; no other economic driver has been able to do that for Indian country as successfully as gaming," he said.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The U.S. Inspector General's office says it found no evidence of theft of federal funds on Wyoming's Wind River Indian Reservation.
However, the office noted in a report released last week that poorly maintained accounting records and long-time commingling of various federal program funds made it impossible to determine if any money had been stolen.
As a result, investigators were unable to determine the status or disposition of various federal and tribal funds.
The investigation was initiated after the Eastern Shoshone Business Council wrote a letter to Wyoming Republican U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, requesting a forensic audit of the Joint Finance Office the tribe shares with the Northern Arapaho Tribe.
The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs reached a similar conclusion in 2016 in regard to the mismanagement of money.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A 41-year-old Billings woman has pleaded guilty to letting her former boyfriend die in her apartment after he suffered a severe beating and leading an effort to dismember and burn his body on the Crow Indian Reservation.
The Billings Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/2vvyy14) prosecutors will seek a 40-year prison sentence for Carri Elizabeth Standsoverbull in the March 2015 death of 38-year-old Jeffrey Hewitt.
Standsoverbull pleaded guilty Friday to negligent homicide, aggravated assault by accountability and evidence tampering.
Prosecutors say Hewitt was beaten, likely by several people, until he couldn't move, and then was left in Standsoverbull's apartment without any medical help until he died. Investigators say Hewitt's body was then taken to the Crow Indian Reservation, where it was dismembered and burned.
Standsoverbull's brother, Patrick Saint Standsoverbull, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault and evidence tampering.
GLOBE, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say forest service and tribal police officers in Arizona fatally shot a man they'd be hunting for in connection to a shooting and arson.
The shooting happened about 2 a.m. Saturday near the city of Globe and the San Carlos Reservation in central Arizona.
The FBI said U.S. Forest Service and San Carlos Apache Tribal police officers shot at the suspect after encountering the man, who opened fire first.
The man, whose identity is pending family notification, died and no officers were hurt.
Authorities believe he's the same man who shot at a forest service fire prevention officer in Forest Lakes on July 4 and had been linked to multiple brush fires that were intentionally set around that time.
The FBI is leading the investigation because of the assault on federal officers.