The ICE London conference and tradeshow, which took place earlier this year in London, had a little bit of everything, including high-level discussions on tribal gaming.
A key session in this tribal gaming track was a panel that took a deep dive into how Indian Country is responding to expanded sports wagering opportunities in North America. This session was ably moderated by Sheila Morago, executive director, Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association. The speakers were Holly Cook Macarro, a partner with Spirit Rock Consulting, an Alexandria, Va.-based Native American-owned government affairs firm; Steve Bodmer, general counsel for Pechanga Tribal Government, owners of Temecula, Calif.-based Pechanga Resort & Casino; and Derrick Watchman, president and owner of Sagebrush Hill Group LLC and former CEO and CFO of Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, the operator of four tribal casinos in Arizona and New Mexico. Among the topics this group tackled: potential federal involvement in sports wagering; updates on tribal sports wagering initiatives in California and Arizona; reflections on the revived Wire Act; sports betting’s impact on IGRA and compacts, and much more. Here’s a excerpted recap of what they had to say: