San Diego, CA – March 31, 2019 – The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Board of Directors came together on the eve of the kick off of the 34th Annual Indian Gaming 2019 Tradeshow and Convention to be held at the San Diego Convention Center, in San Diego, California.
The bi-annual NIGA Board of Directors convened at the Marriott Marquiseto host discussions on topics and resolutions, preparing for the NIGA Member tribe’s meetings to be held along with the most significant gathering of tribal gaming leadership, executives, and industry representatives.
In his welcoming message to the board, Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., said, “Once again we bring tribal leadership and our Indian gaming industry experts and professionals together to celebrate the tremendous success of our Indian gaming industry.”
To kick off the meeting, National Indian Gaming Association Associate member, Ultraviolet Devices were acknowledged as one of the newest sponsors of the Indian Gaming tradeshow event.
A presentation followed by Haskell Indian Nations Foundation representatives, Cleta LaBrie, Director of Development and Haskell Student Senate President Lindsey Beth Robinson on their building fundraising campaign. They stressed the importance of Indian Country assisting them with garnering more federal funding and also extended a plea for assistance from those Tribes who have additional resources to share.
The agenda included a vast number of issues and topics including year-end reports by NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., the Executive Director of NIGA, Jason Giles and the Treasurer of NIGA, Andy Ebona.
The Chairman’s report covered organizational updates including a 2018 year-end report, an overview of the 2019 Tradeshow Schedule of Events and information on the continued work NIGA is doing with the American Gaming Association (AGA) new President Bill Miller. The board was also provided updates by the Tribal Alliance, Tribal Gaming Protection Network (TPGN) & the National Indian Casino Safety Association (NICSA.)
Debbie Thundercloud, NIGA Chief of Staff, provided a report on sports betting and the overall impacts, and legislative issues, as well as State and Tribal interest in sports betting.
NIGA Executive Director, Jason Giles reported on regulatory efforts, operations, and legislative updates. NIGA Treasurer Andy Ebona provided an update on the overall financial condition of the organization and its operational budget. As part of the Treasurer’s report board members heard from Wipfli LLP/Joseph Eve & Associates, who presented the 2018 Audit report.
The Board addressed new business presented by various Member Tribes. The Board approved and adopted the following resolutions which will help guide NIGA’s policy objectives for this legislative session:
Support for Federal Legislation to address Supreme Court’s Misguided Carcieri decision and Protect Existing Tribal Trust Lands;
Calling on Congress to Establish the Deputy Secretary for Indian Nations and the National Council on Native Nations to Honor Indian Self-Government, Self-Determination and Treaty Rights on a Nation-to-Nation Basis.
To Affirm and Protect Tribal Sovereign Immunity, Encourage the Establishment of Tribal Government Risk Management Pools and Dispute and Claims Resolution Process
The next Board meeting will convene Thursday, April 04, 2019, at the San Diego Convention Center.