Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa (TMBC) Tribal Chairman Jamie Azure has been reviewing an NIGC notice and expects the TMBC’s legal team to make a recommendation for how the Tribe should proceed by early next week.
The NIGC notice came after an investigation found multiple violations of both The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) and NIGC regulations.
Azure said, “We’ll do an internal investigation to find out if there’s any fault on our side, and we’ll handle it accordingly.”
The NIGC notice says the Tribe failed to provide a 120-day notice of intent to issue a facility license to the NIGC before allowing Keya Radio station to begin hosting class II and III gaming, as well as failed to issue a facility license to Keya where gaming was being hosted.
The notice alleges the TMBC also: failed to notify the NIGC within 30 days of the expiration of the Chippewa Downs Racetrack facility license, and failed to issue and submit a new facility license for Chippewa Downs to the NIGC.
National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer said, “We do not take this enforcement action lightly, but issue it to preserve the integrity of the industry and protect the valuable tool Indian gaming represents for many Tribes.”
Azure said, “The Keya Radio Station has been a focal point of our community information, especially during the pandemic and Covid. We’re making sure that people know that our Keya Radio Station is not going to be affected.”
The notice issued to TMBC says there is no remedial action that can correct any of the violations, but it can appeal within 30 days of service. The TMBC could face civil penalties of up to $57,527 per day for each violation and the Tribe’s gaming operation could be subject to a temporary closure order.