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.
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.