As Vice President of Business Development and Tribal Government Relations for International Game Technology PLC (IGT), Knute Knudson is responsible for the company’s business opportunities and its business footprint in Indian country. It is a job he is eminently qualified for, given his lifelong experience in all matters tribal gaming, which includes service in Washington, D.C. as a political appointee at the Department of the Interior where he worked on tribal government gaming issues during the very early days of IGRA; three terms as a South Dakota state legislator, where he rose to the majority whip leadership role; and a stint at Sodak Gaming, a company that financed $1.5 billion in equipment and systems sales to gaming tribes.
So suffice to say that when Knudson talks about the state of tribal gaming in the U.S., people should listen. I met with Knudson at last month’s NIGA trade show and convention in San Diego, Calif., to discuss some tribal gaming trends and how IGT was responding to them. Here are some excerpts from our conversation: