Conference targets tribal gaming issues

Dec 27, 2005 2:21 AM

A panel of four key California legislators will discuss the outlook for the 2006 legislative session and offer their predictions for the newly-negotiated tribal gaming compacts agreed to by the Schwarzenegger administration at the Western Indian Gaming Conference in Palm Springs, Jan. 11.

More than 600 tribal and industry leaders from around the country are expected to attend the conference, the largest regional Indian gaming conference in the U.S. The conference is put together by the California Nationals Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA).

Two days of panels including one on "reservation shopping" will be featured, along with a trade show of more than 130 exhibitors at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

"For anyone who has an interest in any aspect of Indian gaming, this conference is the place to be," said Anthony Miranda, recently elected to a second term as chair of CNIGA.

Indian gaming in California supports nearly 54,000 jobs, most of them held by non-Indians, and generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity in the state, Miranda said.

The chair and vice chair of both the state Senate and Assembly Governmental Organization Committees, which will offer their insight and predictions for the 2006 legislative session, will be featured on a panel called, California Legislative Report 2006. Participants will include Senators Dean Florez and Jeff Denham and Assemblymen Jerome Horton and George Plescia.

The panel will also discuss opinions relating to whether tribes should be able to operate casinos away from the ancestral reservation lands.