The Department of the Interior will host consultations to solicit input from Tribes on proposed revisions to the regulations governing Fee-to-Trust applications and Class III Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. In proposing revisions, the Department stated that “protecting and restoring Tribal homelands is a top priority for the Department.” The Department also recognized “the importance of Indian gaming as a means of Tribal economic and community development.”
For the Fee-to-Trust regulations, the Department plans to develop a more efficient, less cumbersome, and less expensive fee-to-trust process. For the Gaming Compact regulations, the Department intends to provide clear guidance regarding the Secretary’s review and evaluation process for Class III Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. The Fee-to-Trust regulations are at 25 C.F.R. Part 151, and the Gaming Compact regulations are at 25 C.F.R. Part 293.
The Department scheduled four Tribal consultations to inform and discuss the proposed revisions. After considering all Tribal comments, the Department plans to release a formal notice of proposed rulemaking. The dates and times of the virtual consultation sessions are as listed:
- May 9, 2022, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
- May 9, 2022, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time
- May 13, 2022, 1:00p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
- May 23, 2022, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
For more information on the proposed revisions or on registering for a consultation session, see the Dear Tribal Leader Letter available here. Written comments may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 30, 2022.
Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP is ready to assist tribal governments and enterprises. To learn more about this issue and how we can assist, contact attorney Alvina Earnhart in our Colorado office at (303) 926-5292.