Tribal Governments

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Gaming Legal News - Volume 8 Number 1: Idaho Tribes And Community Leaders Seek To Limit "Instant Racing" Gaming Machines

A popular and profitable form of gaming has sparked a controversy in Idaho between the state’s Indian tribes and horse racetracks. "Instant Racing" video slot machines replay the last seconds of horse races run in the past,...more

OMB and Federal Agencies Publish Final Rule on Grants and Cooperative Agreements

On December 19, 2014, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 28 federal agencies published in the Federal Register a consolidated interim final rule to implement OMB’s December 2013 final guidance on...more

U.S. Attorney General States Principles for Working With Tribes

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the Office of the Attorney General issued a notice setting forth principles for the AG and Department of Justice to work with federally recognized Indian tribes. Highlights of these principles...more

Does The DBO’s Draft Tribal Consultation Policy Violate the Public Records Act?

Three years ago, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued Executive Order B-10-11. Among other things, Governor Brown ordered: that it is the policy of this Administration that every state agency and department...more

Tribes Should Beware of Dissent in High Court Ruling, Lawyers Say

Native American tribes shouldn’t celebrate too heartily after a victory at the U.S. Supreme Court by the Bay Mills Indian Community, Oklahoma lawyers said. Tribal lawyers Michael McBride III with Crowe & Dunlevy and...more

Proposition 48: A North Fork in the Road for Tribal Casinos

Continuing our series on the 2014 California election ballot, we now turn to Proposition 48, the Referendum on Indian Gaming Compacts. If voters approve the referendum November 4th, Native American tribes may be able...more

Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act: New Law Supersedes IRS Guidance - H.R. 3043 Allows Tribes More Latitude in Social Programs

On Sept. 26, 2014, President Obama signed into law a measure that excludes from taxable income various general welfare payments to members of Indian tribes. One of the last pieces of legislation agreed upon by the...more

Second Circuit Issues Decision in Payday-Loan Regulatory Case

In a clash of competing sovereigns’ interests, the Second Circuit recently upheld, for now, the authority of the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) to regulate online payday loans made by Indian tribal lenders to...more

New Law Requires Formal Consultation with Native American Tribes During CEQA Process

Agencies Must, Upon Request, Consult With Tribes About “Tribal Cultural Resources” - Assembly Bill 52, signed yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown, seeks to protect a new class of resources under CEQA: “tribal cultural...more

Negotiating with a Tribe or Tribal Entity: Practical Tips for Franchisors

Indian gaming has exploded in the more than twenty-five years since Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). According to the 2014 Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report, Indian tribes received $28.1...more

Supreme Court Affirms in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community: Don’t Roll the Dice with Tribal Sovereign Immunity

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community is a reminder to a broad range of entities, including energy companies, financial service providers, and state and local governments, that...more

Tribal Immunity at the Supreme Court: Impact on Payday Lenders?

Could a recent Supreme Court decision on tribal sovereignty as it applied to an Indian casino have an impact on payday lenders? The case itself, Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, involved a casino built by the...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Reaffirms Tribal Sovereign Immunity for Commercial Activities Conducted Off-Reservation

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that, absent a waiver or Congressional action to the contrary, the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity applies to lawsuits arising from a tribe’s commercial activities, even if they...more

The Wind River Reservation Treatment-as-State Controversy: How Confusion Undermines Opportunities for Cooperative Governance

Under certain statutes, tribes can exercise civil jurisdiction over non-Indians. For instance, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act allows tribes to pursue claims for natural resource...more

BIA Proposes Rule Revisions for Rights-of-Way on Indian Lands

On June 17, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published proposed revisions to 25 CFR Part 169, whereby the new rule seeks to comprehensively update and streamline the process for obtaining BIA grants of Rights-of-Way...more

In Final Guidance, IRS Broadens General Welfare Safe Harbors for Tribal Programs - New Guidance Provides Planning Opportunities...

After receiving more than 120 written comments on how the IRS should apply the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs, the IRS has issued final guidance detailing how tribal programs may take advantage...more

IRS Issues Final Revenue Procedure Addressing Application of General Welfare Exclusion to Tribal Government Programs

On June 3, 2014, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2014-35 providing final guidance for Indian tribal governments regarding the application of the general welfare exclusion to Indian tribal government programs that provide...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Bars State from Suing Tribe Seeking to Operate an Illegal Off-Reservation Casino

On May 27, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), states may only sue to enjoin a tribe from conducting class III gaming “on Indian lands.” Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Cmty., 2014...more

The corridor of uncertainty diminishes following another pro international arbitration judgment from the Indian Supreme Court

For international parties who have contracted with Indian counterparties and agreed to refer disputes to international arbitration, a critical issue is the degree to which the Indian courts have jurisdiction to review and set...more

U.S. Supreme Court Reaffirms the Doctrine of Tribal Sovereign Immunity in Bay Mills Decision

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision, highly anticipated by Indian tribes and Indian law practitioners, in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, et al. In a 5-4 split, the Court reaffirmed the doctrine of...more

Tribe Files Suit to Block California Compact Referendum

The landmark ballot referendum proposing to reverse the California Legislature’s ratification of two off-reservation tribal casinos is being challenged in state court litigation seeking to block the referendum from appearing...more

Office of the Solicitor Issues Carcieri “Fix” Opinion

In response to the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Carcieri v. Salazar, 555 U.S. 379 (2009), the Office of the Solicitor for the United States Department of the Interior issued a memorandum opinion on March 12, 2014,...more

Federal Court Agrees With Magistrate That Whether A Tribal Lender Is A For-Profit Corporation Is A Triable Issue Of Fact

On March 7, 2014, the United States District Court for the District of Nevada in Federal Trade Commission (the FTC) v. AMG Services, Inc., et al. granted a partial victory to Indian tribal payday lenders in their ongoing...more

Sixth Circuit Grants Stay in Lansing, Michigan, Off-Reservation Casino Case

In an order issued on February 24, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a stay of its decision in State of Michigan v. The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians (Sixth Circuit Case No....more

A Precedent-Setting Ninth Circuit Victory for Tribes and Their Business Partners

In a landmark decision, the Ninth Circuit has held that state and local governments lack the power to tax permanent improvements built on non-reservation land that is held in trust by the federal government....more

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