A year or more of negotiations between the state of South Dakota and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe has yet to produce a new Class III gaming compact.
Both parties, however, have been able to agree on two extensions to allow for additional time to hash out a deal. The first extension (pdf) approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) extended their Tribal-State Class III gaming compact to February 2, 2016, and was published by the Federal Register in October of 2015. The second and latest extension (pdf) agreed upon by the two entities and approved by the BIA was published on Thursday. The existing compact will expire on August 4.
The tribe’s Rosebud Casino in Valentine is limited to just 250 slot machines by the 2001 compact. Meanwhile, Deadwood’s non-Indian facilities have increased exponentially from 863 slot machines in 1990 to more than 8,200 in 2005, according to indianz.com. South Dakota voters passed Constitutional Amendment Q by a margin of 14 percent in November 2014, with the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux reservations surpassing that number. All Class III casinos in South Dakota were authorized by the amendment to offer craps, keno, and roulette. The new games approved by the 2015 legislative session began July 1 of last year.
The 250 limit is slowly being broken by tribes and in 2011, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe negotiated a compact with the state for 500 machines. A new compact was negotiated by the Oglala Sioux Tribe last year for 750 machines and approved by the BIA in February 2015.
Last year’s initiative applied to Deadwood, but tribal-state Class III gaming compacts, as well as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), enables tribes to offer the new games that are legal in the state. Tribal casinos offering only Class II games, which are most often electronic bingo machines that play like slots, are not permitted to install or offer the table games.
Poker and blackjack are already offered at Class II Indian gaming venues in the state. In certain states, including South Dakota, those games were “grandfathered” by the IGRA. According to Section 2703(7)(C) of the act, as long as the card game had been “actually operated” prior to May 1, 1988; and had been operated by “an Indian Tribe,” it could be considered Class II.