Jonodev Osceola Chaudhun confirmed by US Senate to be chair of National Indian Gaming Commission
WASHINGTON—The US Senate on Thursday afternoon (April 16, 2015) confirmed Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, a tribal citizen of the Muskogee Nation of Oklahoma, to become chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission. President Barack Obama nominated Chaudhuri in July 2014.
The National Indian Gaming Commission is the federal agency tasked with collaborating with tribes and states to regulate Indian gaming.
“Jonodev will be an outstanding chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission,” commented US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell after this afternoon’s Senate confirmation. “Having served on the Commission, in tribal government and private practice Indian law, his experience and expertise will enable him to provide strong strategic leadership as the commission tackles the complex issues associated with supporting economic opportunities for Indian nations.”
“Mr. Chaudhuri is a proven leader and he will continue to do important work as the Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission,” stated Senator Jon Tester, vice chairman of the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. “I thank him for his patience during this confirmation process.”
Chaudhuri is an enrolled member of the Muskogee Nation and previously served as the acting Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Chaudhuri was confirmed with unanimous support.
The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) is committed to the prompt and efficient regulation of the Indian gaming industry, which spans more than 420 gaming establishments, associated with nearly 240 tribes across 28 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the $27 billion Indian gaming industry
Chaudhuri most recently served as the Vice Chairman and Associate Commissioner of the NIGC, positions he held since 2013. He also served as Acting Chairman of the NIGC from 2013 to April 2014. Before that Chaudhuri was Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior from 2012 to 2013. He served as an Associate Judge on the Puyallup Tribe of Nations Court from 2011 to 2012, an Appellate Judge on the San Manuel Mission Band of Indians Appeals Court from 2009 to 2012 and an Appellate Judge on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Supreme Court from 2006 to 2012.
The NIGC was established by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 and comprises a chair and two commissioners, each of whom serves on a full-time basis for a three-year term. By law, at least two of the three commissioners must be enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe, and no more than two members may be of the same political party. The chair is appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the Senate. The Secretary of the Interior appoints the other two commissioners.
The NIGC’s primary mission is to regulate gaming activities on Indian lands for the purpose of shielding Indian tribes from organized crime and other corrupting influences. The independent Commission also works to ensure that Indian tribes are the primary beneficiaries of gaming revenue and that gaming is conducted fairly and honestly by both operators and players. To achieve these goals, the commission is authorized to conduct investigations and undertake enforcement actions, including the issuance of notices of violation, assessment of civil fines, and/or issuance of closure orders, audits, reviews and approval of tribal gaming ordinances.