CoinlessJacob Coin resigns from CNIGA
Jacob Coin, one of the highest-profile figures in Indian gaming nationwide, and among the most prominent in California's Indian gaming community, resigned from his position as executive director of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) effective October 6.
That means CNIGA, the state's largest Indian gaming political lobbying group, will most likely be without an executive director in the weeks leading up to election day, when an important Indian gaming referendum will appear on the state's ballots.
"Though his presence at CNIGA will be missed, we look forward to working with Jake in the common struggle to protect and enhance the rights of California tribal governments," said CNIGA Chairman Anthony Miranda in a statement. "We thank Jake for his commitment to CNIGA and its member tribes and wish him the best of luck."
Coin has resigned at a time when two gaming initiatives are being hotly debated in the Golden State. One of these initiatives, which is opposed by both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the state's gaming tribes, would allow slot machines in the state's card rooms and racetracks. A second ballot measure, sponsored by the Agua Caliente band, would allow for an un-restricted number of slots in the state's Indian casinos.
While all this goes on, Schwarzenegger continues to negotiate compacts with Golden State tribes. Ten tribes, including the Viejas, one of the largest casino operators in the state, have agreed to sign new compacts with the governor.
"The CNIGA Executive Board will soon begin a search for a new executive director that will help guide the organization through the new challenges that will confront California tribes," Miranda said.
A source close to Coin said there has been consistent tension between Coin and Miranda and that Coin has accepted a position with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of San Bernadino County.
The San Diego Union-Tribune also reported that "knowledgeable sources" said the two men "had clashed and their relationship had grown increasingly strained."
Coin's reported new employer, the San Manuel Band, had a very public rift with CNIGA about three years ago. It was one of the first tribes to leave the association, and was certainly the highest-profile Native American group in the state to part ways with CNIGA at the time. Since then membership in the association has declined by about one third.
Prior to joining CNIGA, where he served as executive director for four years, Coin was executive director of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA). Before joining the NIGA staff, Coin was executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association.