San Diego, CA April 1, 2015 - Indian Gaming 2015 has been a sensational event so far. Today's exciting ribbon cutting opened the tradeshow floor for business with record-breaking numbers reaching 6,450 registered attendees. Guests were greeted by a performance from the spectacular Pueblo of Pojoaque Hoop Dancer, Tara Kingi. National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. welcomed everyone to Indian Gaming 2015's marketplace.
Chairman Stevens introduced dignitaries who were present including the NIGA Board of Directors, Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Miss Indian World Taylor Thomas and AGEM's Marcus Prater. Professional athletes showed their support and were also in attendance including AC Green (NBA), Bill Walton (NBA), Steve Jordan (NFL), Darryl Talley (NFL), Mack Strong (NFL), Zoe Strong (NFL) and Clark Gaines (NFL).
The 90,000 square foot tradeshow floor provided a platform for over 300 world-class exhibitors to display their products and services. Native owned businesses and friends to Indian gaming could be found all throughout the tradeshow floor.
This year's Indian Gaming 2015 also hosted a Tribal Leader's Reception in the Entertainment Lounge on the tradeshow floor. NIGA Chairman Stevens welcomed attendees and announced the day's exciting lineup of cash prize drawings, the arts and craft vendors and reminded everyone of the Wendell Chino Banquet & Concert with Foreigner tonight.
Chairman Stevens invited Dike Bacon of Hnedak Bobo Group, Inc., to the stage to introduce theRising Leader Award, which is going to begin recognizing leaders in Indian gaming. Recipient of this year's Rising Leader Award, Joanne Israel from the Seneca Nation of New York, thanked the organization and said, "I'm very grateful for this award." Janie Dillard from the Choctaw and Cherokee Nation's of Oklahoma was also recognized and Thomas Kanuch accepted on her behalf. "Janie built Indian gaming for the Choctaw from the ground up."
During the Tribal Leader's Reception, Casino Enterprise Magazine's Peter Mead presented the Technology of the Year Award. This year's award for first place was a three-way tie. Ray Burns of the Egghart Scholarship, which provides scholarships for accounting students, was awarded to Shelby Enloe during the event. Our congratulations go out to these rising leaders. Chairman Stevens encouraged guests to stay for the tradeshow floor cash prizes and giveaways and tonight's performance by Foreigner.