The National Indian Gaming Commission could impose a hefty fine or potential closure on the Catawba Two Kings Casino for perceived violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The Commission, which oversees regulatory compliance and integrity for tribal gaming group’s, has said that “multiple violations” of the IGRA as well as NIGC regulations have been identified.
This has seen E Sequoyah Simermeyer, Chair of the NIGC, issue a notice of violation against the Catawba Indian Nation, Kings Mountain Sky Boat Partners and Sky Boat’s owners, officials, managers, and consultant.
Elaborating on the offences, it is said that Catawba permitted Sky Boat to manage, in part, the expansion of the Two Kings Casino without an approved management contract.
Furthermore the Nation, Sky Boat, and their respective officials also stand accused of failing to submit the required ground lease, which is a management contract, within 60 days of its execution, as required by NIGC regulations.
Although the NIGC emphasises that “there is no cure for these violations,” it is noted that from this date forward all associated parties must not act under the ground lease as this has been “void as an unapproved management contract”.
Catawba are also reminded to ensure that Sky Boat, its owners, officials, managers and its consultant do not exercise control or authority over the Nation’s gaming facilities, either in whole or part.
Each party has a 30 day window to appeal, with potential sanctions forthcoming including the option of a civil penalty that would not exceed $57,527 per day for each violation or the issuance of a temporary closure order.
“Based on an exhaustive investigation and analysis of the circumstances, we issued a Notice of Violation to both enforce regulatory compliance and ensure the Nation is the primary beneficiary of its gaming revenue,” commented Simermeyer.
“We do not take this enforcement action lightly, but do so to preserve the integrity of the industry and protect the valuable tool Indian Gaming represents for many Tribes as codified in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”
The Catawba Indian Nation is a federally recognised Indian tribe with tribal headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The Nation owns the Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, which has been open and operating since July 1, 2021.