Statement from The National Indian Gaming Association on the Indian Gaming 2020 Tradeshow in San Diego March 23-27

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March 11, 2020

Washington, D.C.. – March 11, 2020 – The National Indian Gaming Association continues to monitor the latest developments impacting its 2020 Tradeshow in San Diego.

To date, San Diego County and the Mayor of San Diego have not banned large gatherings. The Chief Public Health Official in San Diego said she would not recommend canceling planned conferences at this time. In fact, the Optical Fiber Communications Conference is taking place as planned in San Diego this week with over 10,000 attendees.

However, the National Indian Gaming Association recognizes that several counties and jurisdictions are starting to ban large gatherings as a result of the spread of the CoronaVirus. In Washington State, Governor Inslee, a dear friend of Indian Country, instituted a state-wide ban on gatherings over 250 people.

Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Head of Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health stated: “We would recommend that there not be large crowds…If that means not having any people in the audience [at large sporting events], so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has large crowds is something that would give a risk to spread.”

The National Indian Gaming Association recognizes that the safety of our attendees is of paramount importance. We will be consulting with the NIGA Board of Directors, Tribal Governments, Tribal Casino personnel, and our industry partners on the best path forward.

Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., stated: “First and foremost, I want to send our prayers to the areas impacted by the virus. The Tribal Governments in the State of Washington are working hard to help Governor Inslee during this difficult period. I have convened an emergency meeting of the Board of Directors to consider the best path forward that protects the financial health of our Association, but more importantly the health and welfare of our attendees. We will provide an update within the next 24 hours”

The National Indian Gaming Association annually hosts the largest gaming exposition in Indian Country. In what is a critical year for Indian Country legislation and regulation, we cannot overlook the events sweeping over this great Nation.

The Association and its Board of Directors will work with all the concerned governmental and regulatory agencies to arrive at a solution that considers all contingencies to assist our industry as we all come together in confronting this disease.