IGA Mid-Year Conference 2023: Insights and Innovations in the Tribal Gaming Community

The Indian Gaming Association’s Mid-Year Conference & Expo held at Foxwoods Casino Resort on September 12 to 14, 2023 served as a meeting place for leaders in the Tribal gaming community. This year’s event honored the journey of Foxwoods Casino Resort and how they transformed the industry.

Raving CEO Deana Scott shared, “It was a very candid and impactful week of conversation. Council Member Michele Scott’s exercise describing the Tribe’s historic journey left people speechless. Plus, such a great opportunity to peak behind the curtain of one of the most successful Native business operations.”

Session Spotlight: Understanding Tribal Sovereignty and Culture

The esteemed panel included Angelina Casanova, Chairwoman of Command Holdings, Jody Cummings, General Counsel of Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Michele Scott, Tribal Councilor of Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation examined the significance of Tribal sovereignty and culture in building robust business relationships.

Council Member Michele Scott, during the discussion, emphasized the necessity of understanding the historic journey of Tribes. She encouraged attendees to acknowledge the hardships faced by Tribes and appreciate their resilience.

The panel laid the foundation to enhance collaboration and strengthen partnerships by fostering a respectful, informed approach to working with Tribal casinos.

Session Spotlight: Navigating Tribal Regulations and Procurement Processes

Expert voices from Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation including Zachary Zarnoch, Chief Compliance Officer, Dale Merrill, SVP HR and Administration, and Phil Minichino, Chief Procurement Officer, took stage with Deana Scott to share perspective on navigating Tribal regulations and procurement processes. They discussed the importance of connecting with the right individuals within Tribal organizations to facilitate effective communication. Dale Merrill highlighted the Tribe’s preference for Tribal member businesses, promoting a sense of community and unity.

Zachary Zarnoch emphasized the need for a reputational risk assessment and background check for vendors. Phil Minichino, with three decades of experience working with Foxwoods, shared a success story that showcased the power of collaboration between Tribes and vendors.

Session Spotlight: Customized Solutions for Tribal Casinos

Midday Wednesday,  Brian Charette, VP of Information Technology and Bryan Hayes, Senior VP of Gaming Operations, both from Foxwoods Resort Casino, along with Debra Massing, Senior Vice President of Sales from Everi unpacked the importance of technology and services tailored to Tribal casinos.

From understanding specific requirements for Tribal gaming entities to shard services and an examination of the approval process, the panel offered thoughtful considerations for innovating partnerships and solutions.

Find Out More about IGA Mid-Year

Many thanks to the Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention for an insightful, knowledge-driven event this Fall. To learn about the the Indian Gaming Association’s Mid-Year Conference & Expo or their annual trade show, visit www.indiangamingtradeshow.com.