FanDuel Hires E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, Ex-Nat’l Indian Gaming Chair

Posted on: February 26, 2024, 01:02h. 

Last updated on: February 27, 2024, 12:59h.

FanDuel made another tribal gaming hire Monday, as the online sportsbook operator announced the addition of E. Sequoyah Simermeyer as vice president of strategic partnerships.

Former National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer
Former National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer is joining FanDuel in a vice president role. (Image: YouTube)

Simermeyer previously served as chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). He was nominated for that position by former President Donald Trump in 2019 and confirmed by the Senate later that year. Simermeyer is a member of the Coharie Indian Tribe of North Carolina. The NIGC is the federal regulator for 512 tribal gaming venues operated by 246 tribes in 29 states.

Simermeyer’s experience heading the only federal regulatory agency for Indian gaming operations that oversaw the $40 billion Tribal government gaming industry, and his role at NIGC where he was an active part of state, tribal and international gaming regulatory communities, provide invaluable institutional knowledge the company can leverage to shape its strategy moving forward,” according to a statement issued by FanDuel.

This is Simermeyer’s first job in the private sector. FanDuel is a unit of Dublin-based Flutter Entertainment (NYSE: FLUT).

Simermeyer Second Recent Tribal Hire

FanDuel bringing Simermeyer aboard comes just four months after the gaming company announced the hiring of Rikki Tanenbaum as senior vice president of strategic partnerships, indicating that she and Simermeyer will be working closely together.

Tanenbaum came to FanDuel after serving as chief operating officer for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which is one of the largest tribal casino operators in California. She also held high-ranking roles with several horse racetracks in that state. Tanenbaum supported the hiring of Simermeyer.

“Sequoyah Simermeyer has been at the forefront of shaping and safeguarding tribal gaming, focusing on priority issues and public policy for close to 25 years,” said Tanenbaum in the statement. “We are very honored to welcome Chairman Simermeyer to the FanDuel leadership team, as he brings a career dedicated to addressing tribal economic development. With his guidance, we look forward to learning how to best partner with and support native sovereign nations across the country.”

The two are expected to work with tribal operators across the U.S. to potentially expand FanDuel’s reach in states with heavy tribal gaming footprints.

FanDuel’s Efforts

The announcement of Simermeyer’s hiring arrived just days after FanDuel President Christian Genetski appeared in Alabama to support a sports wagering bill that could feature tribal involvement. He arrived after he spent time at the Western Indian Gaming Conference at the Pechanga Casino Resort in Temecula, Calif.

Genetski’s presence at the California conference was viewed by some as a mea culpa tour of sorts, following the boondoggle that was the 2022 commercial effort to get sports wagering legalized in the Golden State.

That ballot initiative failed spectacularly. But FanDuel appears to be one of the commercial operators to have learned a valuable lesson: California gaming expansion runs through its Tribes.

It’s not clear when another sports wagering initiative will be put before California voters and what roles commercial operators will play. But FanDuel bringing Tanenbaum and Simermeyer on board could help the company in that state.