The Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota has a new Class III gaming compact, the first awarded since voters approved gaming expansion in the state, .
According to a notice published Friday in the Federal Register (pdf), now the tribe is able to offer house-banked games such as roulette, craps, and keno at its gaming facilities. Class II covers games such as pull tabs, electronic bingo, and games similar to bingo, as well as non-banked card games like poker, as established by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Casinos with Class III slot machines are more lucrative and can’t operate without state approval, whereas casinos with only Class II machines only need to file with the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC).
Larry Roberts, the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), approved the amendment on April 13. The tribe’s new gaming compact follows the November 2014 passage of Constitutional Amendment Q (pdf). The initiative permitted the state legislature to authorize keno, roulette, craps, slot machines, and limited card games within the municipality of Deadwood in Lawrence County, South Dakota. In accordance with the IGRA, the type of games that are legal in the state’s commercial casinos can be offered by tribes. The Oglala Sioux Tribe is the first to have an approved compact that includes such games.
Many felt Deadwood was at a competitive disadvantage without craps, keno, and roulette and support for Amendment Q was strong among Indian communities and businesses. The measure passed with 69 percent of the vote on the Pine Ridge Reservation. On the neighboring Rosebud Sioux Reservation, it passed with 63 percent of the vote. An update to the agreement is in the process of being negotiated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe but has yet to be finalized. According to a notice published in the Federal Register last month, the tribe’s existing compact was extended to August 4.
In past years tribes have faced difficulty in talks with the state. The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, for instance, toiled for years to amend its compact so that it could increase its slot machines from the 250 allowed in a prior agreement to 750, according to indianz.com. In a compact approved by the BIA in February 2015, the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s slot machine count grew to the 750 limit.
The tribe owns and operates the East Wind Casino, which is located on U.S. Highway 18, on trust land of the Oglala Sioux tribe between the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. The tribe’s first casino, Prairie Wind Casino & Hotel opened in 1994 and is the only casino on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It currently has over 250 slots, five gambling tables, four poker tables, a 78-room hotel, and one restaurant.