Representatives addressed key tribal issues

Indian Gaming Association kicks off annual tradeshow with board of directors meeting

IGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr.
Reading time 1:28 min

The Indian Gaming Association (IGA) convened its Annual Board of Directors Meeting at the Anaheim Hilton on Sunday, focusing on pivotal tribal matters affecting Indian gaming and tribal issues nationwide.

Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. greeted the board and made the opening remarks. Stevens stated: “Once again, we bring tribal leadership and our Indian gaming industry experts and professionals together to celebrate our Indian gaming industry. It is great to bring this board together to discuss issues critical to Indian Country and Indian gaming.”

Updates were provided by Chairman Stevens on this week’s tradeshow activities, pertinent legislative issues, and the upcoming national elections. "As we enter this critical election cycle, IGA is committed to partnering again with our Member Tribes and affiliated groups to ensure that everyone in Indian Country is educated, empowered, and encouraged to register and make a thorough plan to vote," he said.

Executive Director Jason Giles delivered a legislative update, covering congressional affairs and key challenges facing tribal casinos. Giles highlighted sovereignty challenges, including discussions surrounding the Supreme Court and state interference in sports betting, as well as the vacancy in the National Indian Gaming Commission leadership role.

Meanwhile, Kevin Leecy, Director of Memberships, shared insights into the organization’s successful growth and partnerships with the Indian Gaming Association.

At the meeting, the board also passed several organizational resolutions to advance tribal interests, including promoting tax equity and fairness, advocating for legislation affirming native sovereignty, and supporting the Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial and Sacred Site Act.

Resolutions aimed at enhancing organizational governance were also approved, urging Congress to ensure tax equity for Indian tribes and a request to the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) to limit audits to those authorized under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), specifically targeting net-gaming revenues and tribal welfare programs not explicitly specified. 

Additionally, the board called for an emergency initiative to help tribal governments combat crime in Indian Country and sought legislative acknowledgment of a tribe’s right to reclaim stolen and lost Indian lands.

The next IGA board meeting will be held on Thursday at the 2024 Indian Gaming Tradeshow. The next IGA scheduled event will be the Mid-Year Conference, held September 10 – 12, 2024, at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, WA.

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