London, U.K. – February 6, 2018 – The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) joined forces with the American Gaming Association (AGA), at International Casinos Exhibition (ICE) Totally Gaming, which included a half-day-long schedule dedicated to providing a platform for tribal gaming and doing business in Indian Country at the ExCeL in London.
ICE Totally Gaming is the only Business to Business (B2B) gaming event that truly brings together the international online and offline gaming sectors. The Tribal Gaming Exchange has been a fixture at ICE since 2012, focusing on providing continuing education of the global gambling industry on doing business in Indian Country, this year the seminar focused on partnerships and business exchange.
National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., joined Geoff Freeman, President and CEO of the American Gaming Association for a keynote titled, "The State of Gaming in America." Moderated by Richard Schuetz, the two leaders provided updates and discussions about their efforts to work together, how inclusiveness will move the gaming industry forward and how sports betting is the next growth opportunity for the industry.
Chairman Stevens said, "For over 25 years Native American tribes have been successfully operating gaming, and today, tribal gaming in the U.S. is a $32 Billion a year industry. Geoff and I are professionals, and we take the issues head-on, communication is key. It is an honor to sit here with the President & CEO of the AGA." Freeman said, "We need to keep our eye on the ball, not get distracted and work on what do we have in common with the objective of growing the industry."
Chairman Stevens also commented on the expanded tribal government gaming representation at ICE. He said, "Looking at the development over the years, I am so proud of the not only the growth in our presence but the opportunity to watch some of the most highly respected principals from tribal gaming and business speak here at the world's gaming stage.
The seminar also included the "Business Leaders Discussion Forum: Conducting Business with Tribal Gaming," panel which brought together experts who have had long and successful business relationships with Tribal casinos. They shared their experiences and unique insights on the nuances of working with Tribal gaming, what makes tribal gaming different than the global market and identified the similarities. The panel was moderated by Victor Rocha, President of Victor Strategies and included Mark Frissora, CEO and President, Caesars Entertainment, Maro Sala, CEO, International Game Technology, James Maida, CEO and President, Gaming Laboratories International, Edith Atwood, President, Pechanga Development Corporation.
The Tribal Gaming Exchange seminar also included the "Diversified Business: Means Big Opportunities," panel. Moderated by Gene Johnson, Vice President of Victor Strategies, the panel included Kip Richie, President Greenfire Management Services, Loretta Tuell, Tuell Law, Derrick Watchman, President, Sagebrush Hill Group and Chris Stearns of the Washington State Gambling Commission. The discussion centered around tribal gaming as a robust economic driver enabling tribes to diversify business interests, as well as the full range of business ventures that U.S. tribes are undertaking.
Chairman Stevens wrapped up the day and said, "Building on this success, tribes continue to have the option focus on expanding internationally and looking for opportunities outside of the USA, investing in new technologies, verticals and products; and renovating our properties to appeal to new customer segments." He added, "We welcome partnerships with the international community who are willing to understand our unique requirements and history –government to government."