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College of Law examines Indian gaming laws


July 15, 2008

Organizers of a national conference this fall at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law have gone “all in” to ensure the program – an examination of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) – is provocative, balanced and educational.

“Indian Country’s Winning Hand: 20 Years of IGRA,” Oct. 16-17 at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino in Fountain Hills, Ariz., will be conducted by the College of Law’s Indian Legal Program.

“I doubt any other university could match the talent, knowledge and expertise that will be offered at this conference,” says Bradley Bledsoe Downes, a co-chair of the planning committee and partner at the Phoenix law firm of Bledsoe Downes & Rosier, PC.

Also notable is the decision to honor four individuals who have influenced gaming in Indian Country during a banquet Oct. 16. The event will be hosted by Wallace Coffey, chairman of the Comanche Nation.

Now through June 15, the law school is accepting nominations from tribes, tribal gaming associations and commissions, practitioners in Indian Country, government agencies and lobbyists of people, to be called Pathbreakers, who deserve recognition for their contributions to gaming.

The honorees will be announced in July on the conference registration Web site www.law.asu.edu/ilp.

According to the National Indian Gaming Association, Indian gaming was a $200-million industry when the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was enacted in 1988. Today, the industry earns $19 million a year, revenue that is spread among tribes across the United States, according to the association. The conference will focus on how the act has changed Indian Country, and affected tribal government relationships with the states, the federal government and tribal members.

For more information about the conference or to register, go to www.law.asu.edu/ilp. To nominate a Pathbreaker, e-mail aipi@asu.edu or call (480) 965-1306.