CNIGA chair Miranda picked for third term

December 18, 2007 6:29 AM
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The California Nations Indian Gaming Association announced last week that the membership unanimously reelected Anthony Miranda as chairman for a third two-year term.

Miranda, a member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, has devoted almost two decades of his life to bringing economic development to tribal reservations through gaming enterprises.

A recognized expert in the industry, Miranda is regularly invited to address forums by the Global Gaming Expo, the National Indian Gaming Association, the Nevada Society of CPAs and other gaming related organizations, trade shows and seminars.

"It is an honor to once again be elected chairman of the largest and oldest regional gaming association in the United States," said Miranda, "I am humbled by the overwhelming support of California’s tribal leaders and look forward to the continued challenge to protect gaming rights for tribal governments."

Dennis Hendricks, of the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, was also unanimously reelected to the treasurer’s position for a second term. Hendricks had previously served two terms as chairman of his tribe, as well as serving as the Chairman of the Tuolumne Economic Development Committee.

Additionally, Eric Ramos of the Blue Lake Rancheria in Humboldt County, was elected to the secretary position in a special election. Ramos is currently the President of Business Operations for the Blue Lake Rancheria and had spent several years previously working in the private sector.

Foxwoods’ slots slip

Like its counterparts in Atlantic City, Foxwoods in Connecticut is feeling the pinch from slot parlors in Pennsylvania and upstate New York. A downward trend in slot revenues at Foxwoods continued in November, as winnings slid just over 4 percent.

In its monthly report to state gaming regulators last week, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation said its slot winnings for the month totaled $58.9 million. In October, Foxwoods’ revenue totaled $61.6 million.

The decline in revenues also decreased the amount the state will receive under its revenue sharing agreement with both the Mashantuckets and the Mohegan tribe. The Mashantuckets sent 25 percent of their net win, $14.7 million, to the state.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is expected to report its revenues this week.

Overall, Foxwoods President John O’Brien categorized November as a good month for the casino. Despite the decline in revenues, O’Brien said new marketing and promotional strategies helped the casino draw in more patrons. Coupled with that, the casino is giving more back to players in winnings, which O’Brien said also had an effect on the month’s dip in revenue.

"The difference in revenue is we’re giving back more to our patrons," he said. "Players are responding to it ... the amount that they play is up — and that’s good."

In turn, Foxwoods has seen an increase in its handle, or how much money is wagered at the slot machines, O’Brien said. Patrons put $734 million into the slots at Foxwoods in November.

But, gas prices coupled with increased competition in the area are continuing to have an effect on Foxwoods.

O’Brien said revenues tend to peak in the summer months and soften around the holidays. The first three weeks of December, he said, typically tend to be some of the slowest throughout the year.

To counteract that, the casino also has started offering what O’Brien called "elements of excitement" around the property to bring folks into the casino.

For the last couple of weeks, the casino has hosted its own version of "The Price is Right." Just about every show, O’Brien said, sold out.