NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY
Congress authorized The National Gambling Impact Study Commission ("the
Commission") on June 3, 1996 by Public Law 104-169. The Commission is subject to the
standards and requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), as amended,
with respect to meetings, hearings, and availability of Commission records, and other
Purpose and Function
The implementing statute for the Commission establishes it as an independent
commission which is not under the auspices of any executive agency, nor specifically
controlled by the legislative or judicial branches of government.
The Commission must conduct a comprehensive legal and factual study of the
social and economic impacts of gambling on (1) federal, state, local, and Native American
tribal governments; and (2) communities and social institutions including the individuals,
families, and businesses which compose them. At a minimum, the study should include the
1. A review of existing government policies and practices regarding legalizing
and prohibiting gambling, including the costs of such policies and practices;
2. An assessment of the relationship between gambling and levels of crime,
including existing enforcement and regulatory practices that address such
3. An assessment of pathological or problem gambling, including its impact
on individuals, families, businesses, social institutions, and the economy;
4. An assessment of gambling's impact on individuals, families, businesses,
social institutions, and the economy generally, including advertising's role
in promoting gambling and gambling's impact on depressed economic
5. An assessment of the extent to which gamblingg provides revenue to State,
local, and Native American tribal governments and the extent to which
possible alternative revenue sources may exist for such governments; and
6. An assessment of the interstate and international effects of electronic
gambling, including the use of interactive technologies and the Internet.
The Commission must comprehensively report its findings and conclusions,
together with its recommendations, if any, to the President of the United States, the
United States Congress, the State Governors, and Native American tribal governments no
later than two years after the date of its first meeting. The report shall include summaries
of the material the Commission relied on in preparing the report including summaries of
reports made by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and the
National Research Council.
Structure and Meetings
The Commission consists of nine members appointed for the life of the
Commission. The President of the United States, the Majority Leader of the Senate, and
the Speaker of the House of Representatives each appoints three members to the
Commission. These individuals are to consult among themselves, to the extent possible,
to achieve a fair and equitable representation of the various points of view regarding those
issues that the Commission will study.
Congress has authorized such sums as needed for the Commission to carry out its
purposes and has to date appropriated four million dollars. Such funds are to remain
available until expended.
The President, the Majority Leader of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House
shall jointly designate the Commission's Chairman, who has the authority to call the initial
and all subsequent meetings. Five Commissioners shall constitute a quorum to conduct
official business, but the Commission may Establish a lesser quorum to conduct hearings.
The Chairman has the authority to appoint and terminate an Executive Director
and other such personnel necessary for the Commission to perform its duties. The
appointment and termination of the Executive Director shall be subject to confirmation by
a majority of the Commission's members. The Chairman also has the authority to utilize
detailed government employees without reimbursement and to procure temporary and
The Commission shall have the power (1) to conduct hearings as it deems
advisable to execute its duties; (2) to issue subpoenas to compel production of information
from anywhere in the United States; (3) to issue subpoenas to compel oral or written
explanations of materials obtained by subpoena; and (4) to secure information directly
from any Federal department or agency.
The Commission shall terminate 60 days after the date on which it submits its report.
Dated and Filed: June 15, 1997
Kay C. James, Chairman
National Gambling Impact Study Commission