INDIAN GAMING CONFAB TACKLES NEW RULES OF SPORTS BETTING
Southern California huddle to explore business impact of recent legalization
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.”