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Tribal gaming boom topic of Summit

May 7, 2002 9:01 AM

The spread of tribal gaming and its benefits will be addressed during a panel discussion at the 9th Annual Southern Gaming Summit, May 8-9 in Biloxi, Miss.

Phillip Martin, tribal chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, is expected to elaborate on his tribe’s success in a May 8 keynote address at the Summit.

Tribal government casinos represent the fastest-growing segment of the gaming industry, generating some $12 billion in consumer spending in 2002. With the legalization of Nevada-style casinos on California tribal reservations and a proposal to launch casinos in upstate New York, revenues from Indian gaming will soon eclipse the $23 billion commercial casino industry.

"There is no way to measure how gaming has helped restore pride and hope for the future among a people who have been crushed by the despair of two centuries of poverty and suffering," said Keller George, tribal diplomat for the Oneida Indian Nation of New York.

The seminar, "Tribal Gaming Update-The Explosion has Just Begun," is slated for 9 a.m. on May 9. Panelists include Jacob Coin, executive director of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, John Harte, general counsel, National Indian Gaming Association, and Barry Brandon, an attorney and former counsel to the National Indian Gaming Commission. Tom Foley, an attorney and counsel to Park Place Entertainment, which proposes to operate a tribal casino in New York, will also be on the panel. Jana McKeag, a Washington, D.C., consultant and political columnist for Indian Gaming Business magazine, will moderate the session.

Thomas Gallagher, president and CEO of Park Place Entertainment, and Jim Perry, president and CEO of Argosy Gaming, will address the general assembly, the largest gaming conference held outside of Nevada.

With more than 1,000 people pre-registered, this year’s Summit is well on its way to surpassing previous attendance records. In nine years, the Summit’s popularity has grown beyond its home base of Mississippi ”” 35 states, several Canadian provinces and two European countries are among the pre-registered attendees.

The Southern Gaming Summit is produced by GEM Communications, LLC, the Gulf Coast Gaming Association and its members.