by Ernest L. Stevens, Jr.
The National Indian Gaming Association will host the Indian Gaming Tradeshow and Conference July 19-22 at the Caesar’s Forum convention center, a brand-new convention center located behind the Bally’s and Flamingo Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. This year’s Annual Convention and Tradeshow will be the first “in-person” tribal event since the beginning of the pandemic.
First and foremost for organizers will be the safety of attendees. Clark County, NV, is requiring all large tradeshows to submit a health and safety plan that adheres to all Clark County COVID-19 protocols. For large indoor shows, Clark County is requiring all attendees to present proof of vaccination or submit to a COVID-19 rapid test for entry. Masks and safe distancing of 3 ft. between attendees will still be required. The City of Las Vegas has announced they will be 80% open by June 1st, and expect to be fully open by July 1st, with no capacity restrictions. Therefore, some of the health and safety measures may be relaxed as Clark County assesses the safety of fully re-opening on July 1st. The National Indian Gaming Association tradeshow team will continue to update attendees on safety protocols closer to the show date.
All attendees that paid for the San Diego 2020 event will have fees credited to this year’s event. This includes all commissioner trainings, conference and tradeshow packages, tradeshow floor vendors, and arts and crafts vendors. Refer to the instructions that were sent to 2020’s paid attendees with instructions on how to confirm attendance this July. To apply this credit, the process must be completed prior to the tradeshow event. There will be no on-site credit given to 2020 paid attendees (the process must be completed in advance).
The Indian Gaming Association has partnered with NCAIED’s Reservation Economic Summit (RES) Conference this year during the same week, an excellent opportunity for all tribal enterprises to showcase their businesses and products. While separate registrations are required, discounts on passes are available for attendees planning to join both events.
It has been too long since Indian Country has gathered together and conducted business in person. I could not be more excited for this tradeshow and the partnership with our friends at NCAIED to help make this a one of a kind opportunity for Indian Country.
With much ground to cover, the Indian Gaming Association will hold its annual membership and Board of Director meetings. The annual offering of conference sessions will be available for all attendees at multiple host venues such as Bally’s, Caesar’s Forum, and the Paris Hotel. Special emphasis this year will be placed on topics such as sports betting, on-line gambling, Tribal-State compacting, post-pandemic recovery, gaming operations and federal legislative advocacy, among other important topics.
Ernest L. Stevens, Jr. is Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association. He can be reached by calling (202) 546-7711 or visit www.indiangaming.org.