OCTOBER 17, 1998


Gaming, as a means to generate profit within Native communities began in the late 1970s and 1980s. The success of high-stakes Indian bingo operations in several states soon cut into state government gaming profits and led to litigation that ended at the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court’s combined decisions in Bryan v. Itasca County and California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, essentially limited state authority to regulate Indian gaming. As states began lobbying the Federal government to be allowed to regulate Indian gaming, Congress responded with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA). Drafted by Senators Daniel Inouye of Hawaii & John McCain of Arizona, and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, IGRA established the National Indian Gaming Commission and gave it a regulatory mandate. The law also delegated new authority to the U.S. Department of the Interior and created new Federal offenses, giving the U.S. Department of Justice authority to prosecute them.

  “Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,” National Indian Gaming Commission.  Retrieved 4/16/2022, Indian Gaming Regulatory Act | National Indian Gaming Commission (nigc.gov)
Logo:  National Indian Gaming Commission. Public Domain. 

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