Native American tribes are sovereign nations. As such, neither the State of Michigan does not have general regulatory authority over Indian casinos, although the State does have oversight authority over compliance with the State-Tribal Compact provisions.  They are regulated by the National Indian Gaming Commission and the government of the appropriate tribal community.

Tribal-State Gaming Compacts written agreements between the tribal communities and the State) signed by the Governor give the MGCB staff oversight responsibility for the state's Native American casinos. This responsibility, originally assigned to the Michigan Department of Agriculture's Office of Racing Commissioner, was effectively transferred to the MGCB staff in June 1997 (the five-member Board has no involvement with tribal casinos).

Oversight responsibility by MGCB staff is limited to:

  • Inspecting tribal facilities and documents to assure compliance with Tribal-State Gaming Compacts and related agreements.
  • Examining casinos' electronic games of chance ;slot machines, video poker, etc.) to assure that devices are operating in accordance with terms of Compacts.
  • Conducting financial audits to assure that tribes are paying to the State 8% of Net Win derived from electronic games of chance, and 2% to local municipalities, in accordance with August 1993 Consent Judgment & 1998 Tribal State Gaming Compacts.

    Note - "Net Win" means the total amount wagered on each electronic game of chance, minus the total amount paid to players for winning wagers at said machine.