PHOENIX, AZ - September 18, 2016 -
The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is hosting the annual Mid-Year Conference this week at the Renaissance Downtown in Phoenix, Arizona, which will include a wide array of workshops, sessions, and the annual mid-year tribal leadership meetings and leadership recognition.
To kick off the mid-year event, the NIGA Executive Board convened to discuss a variety of Indian gaming-related issues in preparation to report to the annual membership of tribal leadership during mid-year.
National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. welcomed the executive board; he said "I want to thank you all for joining us. We have a great schedule planned this week at NIGA Mid-year." He added, "when we bring our member tribes and gaming leadership together, we work toward strengthening our unified message, which has always resulted in success and strength for our industry. I look forward to that effort once again this week."
Chairman Stevens also provided updates on Sports Betting and the American Gaming Association (AGA) Coalition. The Board revised their statement on the issue as follows; "We are pleased to announce that the National Indian Gaming Association will be joining the AGA's Coalition on Sports Betting to ensure that any enacted sports betting legislation respects existing tribal rights and preserves the sovereignty of Indian tribes. NIGA seeks to ensure that tribal interests are protected, particularly the avoidance of any negative impacts on Tribal-State Compacts, exclusivity clauses and brick and mortar properties. Also of prime concern for Tribes would be the proposed regulatory framework. As one of the key stakeholders in these discussions, NIGA will ensure that legalized sports betting gives our members the opportunity to offer this activity as part of their overall entertainment package and as an additional source of revenue for Tribal Government Gaming to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency and strong tribal government."
He shared information on the tribal gaming tracks for the upcoming Global Gaming Expo (G2E) this October in Las Vegas, Nevada and presented updates on NIGA's tracking of the proposed Interior Policy Changes to the Indian Reorganization Act - Land into Trust provisions.
Jason Giles, Executive Director of NIGA, provided his bi-annual report to the board with updates to the upcoming Indian Gaming 2018 which is to be held at the Westgate Hotel & Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 17 - 20, 2018. Giles also provided the current legislative updates for the 115th Congress, and current administration updates, including the proposed policy changes to the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), rule on Grandfathering systems.
Andy Ebona, Treasure of NIGA also provided a 2017 budget update and presented the proposed 2018 budget for adoption.
The Executive Board unanimously approved a resolution, 01-SAN-BOD-09-18-17, "We Are Still in Continued Support for Paris Agreement to Maintain Tribal Economic and Community Benefits." The resolution is in continued support of efforts to reduce negative impacts to climate change.
Chairman Stevens said at the conclusion of the Executive Board meetings, "As always our executive board provided solid dialogue and input to moving our agenda forward with our critical work on Capitol hill.
The National Indian Gaming Association Mid-year event officially runs from September 19 - 21, 2017. Events include the mid-year golf tournament, to be held at the We-Ko-Pa Golf Resort in Fort McDowell, Arizona, a day of pre-conference sessions, an opening networking reception, the Tribal Membership meeting, a full day of gaming-related sessions, and the Tribal Gaming Commissioner trainings. All events will be held held at the Renaissance Downtown Phoenix. The coveted John Kieffer Sovereignty Awards banquet, will be hosted at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona, at the Gila River Indian Community on Wednesday evening.
The 2017 National Indian Gaming Association Mid-Year Conference is presented by show sponsors including Ainsworth Gaming, Amerind Risk, Atrient, Avigilon, Bergman Walls & Associates, GLI, IGT Gaming, Indian Gaming Magazine, KlasRobinson QED, Moss Adams, Smith Harrison, LLP, Casino Arizona/Talking Stick Resort, Thalden Boyd Emery Architects, VizExplorer and Wells Fargo.