Washington, D.C. – February 27, 2021 – The National Indian Gaming Association joins the rest of the gaming industry in remembering a pillar of tribal gaming regulatory John Roberts, who passed away on Saturday, January 30th, 2021, from pancreatic cancer.
Roberts, 68, of Escondido, California, worked for over 30 years in tribal gaming. His experience was vast with legal, financial, and human resources knowledge in casino management, with an emphasis on compliance, financial reports, administrative procedures, internal controls, fraud investigations, surveillance procedures and investigations management, marketing, human resources, and legal responsibilities in tribal casinos and tribal gaming commissions.
Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. said, “John was a true champion for Indian Country and tribal government gaming. His dedication and passion towards the security and wellbeing of our industry were outstanding. Much love and respect to the John Roberts family. John was a giant force in protecting the Indian gaming industry. He was my friend, and I know he is missed by all.”
John held a strong presence in the tribal gaming arena. He was frequent in presenting in gaming panel discussions nationally and internationally and was an author of many nationally published articles. Roberts was the recipient of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) Regulator of the Year in Indian Country and received the IMGL President’s Award in 2013.
Roberts received his Finance degree at Metro State University and his Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He served as the Director of Administration at the Kansas Lottery and was the former Assistant Attorney General for Kansas.
His family shared that he enjoyed concerts, attending his daughter’s soccer games, FFA events, and taking the dogs to the beach. He loved his garden and spent hours enjoying the view while keeping in contact with friends on Facebook. He will always be remembered for his funny sense of humor, big smile, enthusiasm, appreciation of life, and never-ending tales.
John is survived by Christian Dyer, Cathee Dyer, Claire (Roberts), Alvarado, Rachael Roberts, John’s life-long love Liz Roberts, and constant canine companion, Max.