This Note will explore the reasons why two identical cases can turn out with completely different results. To do so, consideration will be given to the statutes involved and the varying interpretations of these statutes. Another important consideration is the policy behind these statutes, especially the IGRA. Part II will describe what the pull-tab games are, the statutes at issue, the conflicting cases, and the statutory interpretation issue. Part III will describe how the tenets of Indian Law can affect the analysis. Part IV will contain an analysis of the statutes and compare it to how the courts analyzed them. Part IV will also explore how issues and policies more specific to Indian law should be weighed in the analysis of the statute. Finally, the Note will conclude that the decision in Little Six, Inc. is the correct one. The first decision, Chickasaw Nation v. United States, decided in the Tenth Circuit, held that the tribe was not exempt from paying excise taxes on these games. The second decision, Little Six, Inc. v. United States, decided by the Federal Circuit, held that the tribe was exempt from these excise taxes. These results were contradictory in spite of the fact that the factual situations were virtually identical and involved the same statutes.
Note, When Indian Law and Tax Law Collide: How Pull-Tab Games Got to the Supreme Court, 49 Clev. St. L. Rev. 325 (2001)