IN­DIAN GAM­ING CON­FAB TACK­LES NEW RULES OF SPORTS BET­TING

South­ern Cal­i­for­nia hud­dle to ex­plore busi­ness im­pact of re­cent le­gal­iza­tion

Variety - - Casino Entertainment Impact List - By ROY TRAKIN

House Wins

The Pechanga Re­sort will host the Mid-year Con­fer­ence and Expo, dis­cussing changes in gam­bling law, in­clud­ing sports bet­ting.

Tribal casi­nos have be­come a huge busi­ness since pas­sage of the In­dian Gam­ing Reg­u­la­tory Act in 1988 by Pres­i­dent Rea­gan, es­tab­lish­ing the Na­tional In­dian Gam­ing Com­mis­sion and the reg­u­la­tory struc­ture. Es­ti­mates are that gross rev­enue from just gam­bling topped $32.4 bil­lion in 2017, ac­cord­ing to the NIGC, and has been steadily ris­ing. In­deed, In­dian casi­nos have come a long way from the days of bingo and games of chance.

Founded in 1935, the Na­tional In­dian Gam­ing Assn. is a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion of “Sov­er­eign tribal na­tions with other non-vot­ing as­so­ciate mem­bers rep­re­sent­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions and busi­nesses en­gaged in Tribal Gam­ing,” with an eye to­ward “ad­vanc­ing the lives of In­dian peo­ples eco­nom­i­cally, so­cially and po­lit­i­cally,” as well as pro­vid­ing lob­by­ing mus­cle on Capi­tol Hill. The big topic at this year’s Mid-year Con­fer­ence and Expo at Pechanga Re­sort & Casino, Sept. 25-27, in Te­mec­ula, Calif., will be the re­cent le­gal­iza­tion of sports bet­ting, which rep­re­sents a po­ten­tial boon for tribal casi­nos.

As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Ernest L. Stevens Jr. says sev­eral of the pan­els will ex­plore what the U.S. Supreme Court’s over­turn­ing of the Pro­fes­sional and Am­a­teur Sports Pro­tec­tion Act in May means for In­dian gam­ing.

“We want to bring to­gether the in­dus­try’s thought lead­ers to dis­cuss the po­ten­tial busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties as well as the reg­u­la­tions tribes will be fac­ing in the fu­ture,” Stevens says.

Among the top­ics to be dis­cussed are Big Data as it re­lates to sports bet­ting, the busi­ness, eco­nom­ics and pol­i­tics of sports gam­bling.

Pechanga.net’s Vic­tor Rocha, as con­fer­ence chair, or­ga­nized the pan­els, which in­clude op­er­a­tors, reg­u­la­tors and such ser­vice providers as Pechanga, Wash­ing­ton State Gam­bling, Fox­woods Re­sort Casino, Grey Wolf Peak Casino and Us­book­mak­ing.

“This is the first time in decades where a new bet­ting prod­uct will be in­tro­duced in the U.S. on such a wide scale and the road ahead is ex­cit­ing yet ter­ri­fy­ing be­cause very state, like ev­ery tribe, will have a dif­fer­ent path to le­gal­iza­tion,” Rocha says.

“We hope the dis­cus­sions will give op­er­a­tors and reg­u­la­tors a strong over­view of the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges as they re­turn to their op­er­a­tions and pre­pare for the de­ci­sions that lie ahead.”

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