Indian gaming on agenda for winter meeting of state lawmakers

A row of electronic gaming machines at the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino and Resort in Glendale, Arizona. The Tohono O'odham Nation owns and operates the facility. Photo: West Valley Opportunity The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States is hosting its winter conference in Arizona later this week.

Tribal gaming will be the subject of two sessions during at the conference, which kicks off in Scottsdale on Friday. One session focuses on tribal-state relations while the other looks at the role of the federal government in Indian gaming.

The meeting comes on the heels of new Class III gaming compacts in Arizona. Several tribes have agreed to limit the number of casinos in the Phoenix metropolitan area, a region that includes Scottsdale.

The deal authorizes the Tohono O'odham Nation to offer slot machines, table games and other Class III games at its controversial new facility. The tribe, however, has yet to agree to the terms, which were negotiated without its input.

Valerie Spicer, the executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association, will be presenting during one of the panels. Two tribes quit the organization in protest of the new Tohono O'odham Nation casino.

Information about the Indian gaming agenda follows:
Friday, January 6
NCGLS Committee on State-Federal Relations
Jurisdiction, Legality over Emerging forms of Gambling
Sports betting, daily fantasy sports, Internet gaming on tribal lands – what is the federal government’s role vs. the states’ role in authorizing, regulating and taxing these and potentially other forms of new or emerging gambling?

Chair: Senator Perry Thurston, Florida
Presenters: Frank Chesky, Vice President, General Counsel, Sportech Inc.
Donn Mitchell, Chief Administrative Officer, Isle of Capri Casinos
Kevin Mullally, General Counsel, Dir. Government Affairs, Gaming Laboratories International
Val Spicer, President, Arizona Indian Gaming Association
Steve Bodmer, General Counsel, Pechanga Tribal Government
Whit Askew, Vice President, American Gaming Association

Saturday, January 7
Panel Discussion
Tribal Gaming Legal Issues with States
An update and discussion of the currently pending cases involving the roles of the tribes and the states vis-à-vis gaming, including recent cases and new compacts from Arizona, California, New Mexico and Florida.

Moderator: Senator Lou D’Allesandro, New Hampshire
Speakers: Stephen Hart, Partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP, Phoenix, AZ
Kerry Patterson, Partner, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
Dennis Whittlesey, Member, Dickinson Wright PLLC
Joginder Dhillon, Senior Advisor for Tribal Negotiations, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr
Jeremiah Ritchie, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Susana Martinez

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