Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community v. Hope

16 F.3d 261 (1994)

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Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community v. Hope

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
16 F.3d 261 (1994)

Facts

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) separated gaming into three classes. Class I included social gaming; class II gaming included bingo and “games similar to bingo”; and class III consisted of games that did not fit into class II, including “house banking games,” in which the house was a participant in the game and competed against all players. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (tribes) (plaintiff) advocated that keno was a class II game because of its similarities to bingo. The National Indian Gaming Commission (commission) (defendant) designated keno as a class III game by determining that it was a house banking game that was not “similar to bingo.” The tribes argued that the classification was arbitrary and capricious because it was inconsistent with IGRA’s express purpose of promoting economic development of tribes and also violated a statutory canon of interpreting ambiguous statutes to benefit tribal interests. The district court granted summary judgment on grounds that the commission was entitled to deference under the agency-deference test from Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council and the classification was reasonable. The tribes appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Beam, J.)

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