NCLGS Gaming Conference Commences Friday in Arizona

Posted on: January 5, 2017, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: January 5, 2017, 04:00h.

The NCLGS gaming conference holds its annual winter meeting this week in Scottsdale, Arizona, a rather strange host location considering the numerous state lawmakers there who are working to curb gambling expansion.

NCLGS gaming conference Mark Brnovich
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich will deliver the keynote address at this week’s NCLGS gaming conference in Scottsdale. (Image: David Kadlubowski/The Republic)

The keynote address will come from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich during the opening session. Brnovich previously served as the chairman of the state’s gaming enforcement division and targeted illegal off-reservation gaming during his tenure.

Since becoming his state’s leading legal authority, Brnovich has worked to keep casino gaming on Native American lands, and repeatedly expressed his opposition to daily fantasy sports (DFS).

In letters addressed to DFS leaders DraftKings and FanDuel in 2015, Brnovich said the online contests “violates Arizona law.”

Produced by Spectrum Gaming, a gambling consultancy firm based in New Jersey, the NCLGS winter conference is sponsored by, among others, MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming.

Headliner: Tribal Gaming

Politicians, industry observers and experts, lawyers, lottery officials, regulators, casino executives, and others with vested interests will attend the NCLGS gaming conference. The main theme, however, seems to be the subject of Native American gambling.

Along with Brnovich’s keynote, which is expected to focus on how the law pertains to tribal casinos, a Saturday panel discussion titled “Tribal Gaming Legal Issues with States” will be held. The dialogue will be “an update of the currently pending cases involving the roles of the tribes and the states” in places such as Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Florida.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) are both currently trying to renegotiate state gaming compacts with sovereign groups in their respective states.

The Sunshine State is sending eight state lawmakers to the conference.

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) is sending Joginder Dhillon, his senior advisor for tribal negotiations, to speak at the moderation. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez’s (R) Deputy Chief of Staff Jeremiah Ritchie will also provide his thoughts.

Other Acts

The game of chance that provides more tax revenue to states across the country than any casino game is of course the lottery. Immediately following Brnovich’s address, the NCLGS Committee on Lotteries will hold a conversation examining whether the expansion of land-based casinos and online gaming threatens state lotteries.

“Many states depend on lotteries to fund essential programs, and legislators need to understand the issues,” moderator and Ohio State Sen. Bill Coley (R-District 4) said in a press release. “Fortunately, we have an extraordinary panel of experts who can provide that guidance.”

Advances in technology will additionally be considered, with a panel of professionals assessing how new forms of internet and mobile betting, as well as DFS and skill games, might lead to higher rates of problem gaming.

Stop Predatory Gambling National Director Les Bernal, who testified before the US House Energy and Commerce Committee during its “State of Online Gaming” hearing in 2013, will once again weigh in. But representatives from MGM Resorts and Plainridge Park Casino will also provide their opinion.

The NCLGS winter meeting concludes with a discussion on eSports and how the emerging format might be taxed and regulated.