Chickasaw Nation gets federal approval for mobile bingo

The Chickasaw Nationa tribe with territory in the south Oklahomabecame only the third tribe to gain the approval of the Indian National Gaming Commission (NIGC) for “alternative standards” related to Class II games.

The approval means the tribe has succeeded in formulating its own set of security standards for bingo games played on mobile devices.

“I want to congratulate the Nation for reaching this milestone, a rare milestone in the tribal gaming community,” NIGC President Sequoyah Simermeyer said in a statement regarding the endorsement. “As Class II mobile games become a larger part of an operation’s offerings, we are thrilled the nation has taken this step for the potential economic opportunity it presents, and recognize the hard work that has made them brought to this point.”

The Chickasaw Nation did not specify when the games will be available.

How Class II Playing Standards Work for the Chickasaw Nation

“Alternative standards” refers to a internal rules of the tribe for class II games. These standards must meet strict federal laws that standardize Class II games with the goal of making them safe and secure:

  • Game systems cannot deceive or deceive players
  • The software and gaming equipment installed in a gaming hall must be identical to those approved by the government
  • Equipment must perform as intended by the manufacturer
  • Game systems must undergo testing in a lab
  • Repairs on machines must follow a specific protocol
  • Changes to machines must be approved

Additionally, the rules cover all kinds of equipment related specifications such as circuit boards, electrostatic discharges and drive interfaces. The advantage of Class II gaming for tribal authorities like the Chickasaw Nation is that they don’t have to form a pact with a state to offer it.

This is important to Oklahoma Tribal Gaming authorities, as current Gov. Kevin Stitt has a strained relationship with those authorities.

The standards are quite complicated. However, they ensure that games are safe and regulated no matter where they take place. All tribes must meet the standards if they want to launch Class II games.

How Alternative Standards Play a Role in Class II Regulations

In some cases, tribes will work with the NIGC to adopt their own rules. These internal standards are called “alternative standards”. Tribes may adopt their alternate standards for a variety of reasons.

It’s a big business. The tribe must work with the NIGC to make this happen. It may take up to one year to develop standards. NIGC IT audit manager Tim Cotton said in a statement that the process was an “arduous undertaking”.

“It’s been an honor to work side-by-side with the Nation on alternative standards,” Cotton said. “Sometimes it can be difficult to bring technology up to regulatory standards, and I’m proud to have worked closely with tribal regulators to elevate and further refine controls and protect tribal assets.”

Why Chickasaw’s Alternative Standards Matter to Oklahoma

Simply put, the news regarding Chickasaw’s Class II standards is important because it affects more than 10% of Oklahoma’s land.

The land of the tribe covers 7,600 square miles. The new standards will affect all Class II games that take place in this territory.