Publication Date



40 p. ; An outstanding student paper selected as a Honors Paper.


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

Document Type

Student Paper



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.