NIGC warns tribes of outsized vendor influence in sports betting

| By Nosa Omoigui
The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) – a federal regulatory agency within the US Department of the Interior – has issued a bulletin warning tribal operators to ensure they maintain of sole propriety interest of sports betting operations.
NIGC issues warning to tribes

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) requires tribes to maintain “the sole proprietary interest and responsibility for the conduct of any gaming activity” for any gaming facilities located on Indian lands.

While it is common to partner with third parties such as suppliers and commercial operators who may act as vendors, any “management” of a sportsbook by a third party requires specific approval from the NIGC.

Tribes were warned of potential regulatory challenges presented by sports betting back in 2020. 

The NIGC analyses multiple factors – contract terms, revenue shares and rights to exercise control – to determine a third party’s involvement in the management of a sportsbook.

The body examines the terms of a vendor’s contract with a tribe in case provisions in a contract enable a vendor to have control over a sportsbook’s house rules – which is prohibited by the IGRA. Long term contracts or statements of exemption (“unless otherwise stated in this agreement” for example) are also considered red flags.

Read the full story on iGB North America.

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