In response to the growing omnipresent tribal interest in conducting gaming operations (Class I through III), Congress enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 [IGRA]. The intent of IGRA is twofold. First, gaming is viewed as a means of promoting tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments. Second, the IGM provisions are intended to offset the presence of unsavory elements usually associated with loosely enforced or nonexistent operational controls. In March, 1997, the New Mexico Legislature enacted the Indian Gaming Compact (hereinafter "Compact"), which sets forth provisions for Class III gaming operations in Indian Country within New Mexico. This paper will discuss the controversial elements contained in the New Mexico Gaming Compact, and conclude that certain regulatory fees and the revenue-sharing plan are actually examples of state-imposed taxation of tribal activities conducted in Indian Country. Further, this paper will present a historical analysis of qui tam civil proceedings, and demonstrate that Congress both impliedly and explicitly intended this type of proceeding to remedy financial disputes, trust relationship violations, and affronts to Indian sovereignty and commerce. In applying elements of qui tam, this paper will propose a viable future course of litigation that is legally and procedurally available to gaming tribes, albeit grossly under-utilized.
University of New Mexico School of Law
Miller, Jeanne Hetzel. "25 U.S.C. \xa7 81 Qui Tam Proceedings: A Federal Statutory Remedy for Resolving Gaming Compact Disputes." (1999). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/law_studentscholarship/66