California Legislators to Speak at Gaming Conference - Friday 23rd of December 2005

CALIFORNIA – —A panel of four key California legislators will discuss the outlook for the 2006 legislative session including their predictions for newly-negotiated tribal gaming compacts agreed to by the Schwarzenegger Administration and all aspects of so-called "reservation shopping" at the Western Indian Gaming Conference in Palm Springs January 11, 2005.

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 United States. The conference is conducted by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA), the state's largest Indian organization representing 63 tribes.

Two days of panels on all aspects of Indian gaming will be featured January 11-12 in addition to a major trade show with more than 130 exhibitors at the Palm Springs Convention Center attached to the Wyndham Hotel.

"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. In the last five years tribal gaming has been one of the state's fastest growing industries.

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 either without their own reservation land or who have reservations located in remote locations should be able to operate Indian gaming facilities away from their ancestral lands.

A similar panel looking at Indian gaming on the federal level, including potential legislation to amend the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) will be conducted January 12th at the conference featuring national experts on Indian gaming. Confirmed panelists include Ernie Stevens, Jr., Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, and John Tahsuda, Deputy Director of the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

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