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Tribal Gaming Takes the Stage in Anaheim 2022

Indian Gaming Association Executive Director Jason Giles sits down with Casino Life

Could you give us some background on the history of the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention?

As the largest gathering of tribal leaders and casino executives in the country, the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention is both the meeting place where the community gathers to learn, network and exchange industry-specific ideas, and a cultural celebration of success, strength and self-reliance.

The Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention has established itself as the premier event for the Indian Gaming industry but as the figurative heartbeat of Native American success.

The event has been running for 35-plus years and is owned by the Indian Gaming Association. The mission of Indian Gaming Association is to protect and preserve the general welfare of tribes striving for self-sufficiency through gaming enterprises in Indian Country. To fulfil its mission, IGA works with the federal government and Congress to develop sound policies and practices, and to provide technical assistance and advocacy on gaming-related issues. In addition, IGA seeks to maintain and protect Indian sovereign governmental authority in Indian Country.

What are some of the most memorable moments of this year’s show?

We were excited to have a full schedule of networking, education and product discovery at the 2022 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention that took place April 19-22 in Anaheim California. The event featured 70-plus hours of education sessions on topics most important to the gaming community and Indian Country, as well as a show floor featuring 350-plus leading manufacturers and service providers.

Highlighted special events included the Chairman and Vice Chairman’s Golf Tournaments, Chairman’s Leadership Awards Luncheon, Cultural Event and Chairman’s Welcome Reception.

During several of these events we had the opportunity to honor leaders in Indian Country. At the Chairman’s Leadership Luncheon, Chief Oren Lyons, a faith keeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation in New York, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. At the cultural event, we presented the Rick Hill - Tim Wapato Sovereign Warrior Award to former Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians Chairman Anthony Pico for his passion and commitment to tribal sovereignty.

On the show floor we had exciting presentations in the Chairman’s Lounge and Tribal Leaders Lounge. It was a highlight to have the creators, producers, writers and actors of Peacock’s original TV series Rutherford Falls, including Sierra Teller Ornelas, Ed Helms and Taietsarón:sere ‘Tai’ Leclaire join us to talk about Native American representation in the media.

Were there any interesting geographic changes to representatives attending from particular U.S. states and also from other countries?

Attendees and exhibitors represented all 50 states of the U.S. and 19 additional countries. The top states represented included California, Nevada, Washington, Arizona, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Connecticut, Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin.

How well supported were the conferences and what where the standouts from those whom spoke?

We had a comprehensive schedule of education sessions during our Tuesday and Wednesday conference days as well as through Indian Gaming Association’s Commissioner Certification Training. The education sessions also continued on the show floor in our two lounges.

Session tracks included: Emerging Gaming, Enterprise Development, Gaming Operations, Hot Topics, Politics & Policy, Resort Operations, Sovereignty, and Sports Betting.

Some featured speakers included: Coeur d’Alene Tribe, DraftKings, Esports Entertainment Group, FanDuel, FireKeepers Casino Hotel, Graton Resort & Casino, IGT, Kambi, Mashantucket Pequot Interactive, Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, Muckleshoot Casino Resort, National Indian Gaming Commission, Native American Rights Fund, Nisqually Red Wind Casino, Oneida, Pechanga Development Corporation, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Seneca Gaming Corporation, Swinomish Casino & Lodge, Victor Strategies, Yaamava Resort & Casino and more!

Some featured sessions included: The Business of Interactive Wagering, The Many Faces of Sports Betting In Indian Country, LGBTQ2S Rights in the Workspace, The Esports Gambling Revolution, The Value of Affiliates in the Online Gaming Ecosystem, The Synergy of Online Verticals: Sports Betting and Online Gaming, and The Cashless Revolution: The Value of Going Digital.

Did the 2022 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention have many first-time exhibitors and have you got feedback from them as to how the show was for their organisations?

We were excited to have 45-plus exhibitors new to the show this year. Many are looking to exhibit again as we return to San Diego for the 2023 event.

Overall the show floor had companies ranging from sports and esports betting, slots, cashless payments, security and surveillance, table games, hospitality and facilities services, IT, entertainment, and more!

What is your message to those that are considering attending or exhibiting the 2023 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention?

We are looking forward to the 2023 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention taking place March 27-30, 2023 in San Diego, California. The event is a great opportunity to gain the most up-to-date information on the opportunities, trends and issues affecting the tribal and commercial gaming markets. There are multiple new-product releases on the show floor, where all the major gaming manufacturers are represented. Most importantly, this is a time to celebrate the long history, tradition and success of tribal gaming and Indian Country.