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The following law passed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians sets forth the procedures for all Patron Disputes. The first step is to address the dispute to a member of the staff at the gaming operation and follow the steps below. Each step needs to be exhausted prior to moving the dispute to the next higher level. This process is set forth to assure that our Patrons have every opportunity to have their dispute handled and resolved by management at the gaming facility. This ordinance is found at Cherokee Code Chapter 16, Tribal Gaming Ordinance. This ordinance has been fully reviewed and approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission in Washington, DC.


Sec. 16-12.08. Patron disputes.

Any person who has any dispute, disagreement or other grievance with the gaming operation that involves currency, tokens, coins, or any other thing of value, may seek resolution of such dispute from the following persons and in the following order:

(a)   A member of the staff of the gaming operation;

(b)   A supervisor in the area of the relevant gaming operation in which the dispute arose;

(c)   A manager in the area of the relevant gaming operation in which the dispute arose;

(d)   A director in the area of the relevant gaming operation in which the dispute arose;

(e)   A vice-president in the area of the relevant gaming operation in which the dispute arose;

(f)    The general manager of the relevant gaming operation; and

(g)   The Commission.

(Ord. No. 710, 10-13-2005)


Sec. 16-12.09. Patron rights regarding disputes.

When a person brings a dispute for resolution by the Commission pursuant to section 16-12.08(g), the complainant has the right to explain his or her side of the dispute, and to present witnesses in connection with any factual allegations. At each level, if the dispute remains unresolved, the complainant shall be informed of the right to take the dispute to the next higher level as set forth in section 16-12.08. Resolution of any dispute by the personnel of a gaming operation shall always involve two or more staff members. All disputes, whether resolved or not, shall be reported in detail by the staff persons involved to their supervisor, or, in the case of the general manager of the gaming operation, to the Commission.

(Ord. No. 710, 10-13-2005)


Sec. 16-12.10. Gaming Commission action on patron disputes.

Patrons who have complaints against the gaming facility, a gaming employee, or a management contractor shall have as their final remedy the right to file a petition for relief with the Commission. Any patron complaint must be submitted to the Commission within 30 days after exhaustion of all management review options provided in Section 16-12.08. Complaints shall be submitted in writing, and at the discretion of the Commission, the patron may be allowed to present evidence. The Commission may hold a hearing within 30 days of receipt of petitioner's complaint and the patron may have counsel present at such hearing. The decision of the Commission shall be in writing, shall be issued within 14 days of submission of the matter to the Commission, and shall be provided to the general manager of the gaming operation and to the complainant. All claims by patrons shall be limited to a maximum recovery of $500.00 per occurrence, and a cumulative limit of $1,000.00 per patron in any 12-month period, except disputes relating to a patron's entitlement to a game prize, which shall be limited to the amount of such prize.

(Ord. No. 710, 10-13-2005)


Sec. 16-12.11. Agent for service of process.

The Commission Chairman shall be designated agent for service of process for the Tribal Gaming Commission of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Chairman shall promptly report any such service to the Commission, and shall promptly provide the Commission with a copy of any complaints or other documents served.

(Ord. No. 710, 10-13-2005)


Sec. 16-12.12. Consent to jurisdiction.

Any person who applies for a license under this chapter, applies for employment in any gaming establishment, enters into any contract or agreement related to gaming, or participates in any gaming on the Tribe's Indian lands, shall be deemed to consent to the civil jurisdiction of the Tribe, the Commission and the Tribal Court. Nothing in this section shall limit the jurisdiction of the Tribe, the Commission or the Tribal Court under any circumstances not explicitly contemplated in the section.

(Ord. No. 710, 10-13-2005)


Sec. 16-12.13. Comity and concurrent jurisdiction.

The Commission is empowered to seek comity and enforcement of the orders of the Commission by the courts of any other jurisdiction whose assistance may be required to give effect to the orders of the Commission. The Commission is also empowered to issue orders to enforce the lawful orders of other gaming regulatory agencies and the courts of foreign jurisdictions.

(Ord. No. 710, 10-13-2005)


Sec. 16-12.14. Reserved.


Sec. 16-12.15. Enforcement provisions.

(a)   All matters and occurrences which indicate that a criminal act under the Tribal Code, federal law or state law may have occurred in or around any gaming establishment shall be immediately reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency and the Commission.

(b)   All matters and occurrences contrary to this chapter, rules or regulations promulgated by the Commission which are not covered under a criminal code shall be deemed to be a civil violation. The Commission is hereby authorized to establish a civil violations list of penalties and fines which shall be imposed by the Commission for all such civil violations with the violator afforded the rights to a hearing as provided in article VI herein.

(Ord. No. 710, 10-13-2005) 

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