Starting Monday, July 19, a gathering of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) will mark the return of gaming industry conventions to Las Vegas. The Indian Gaming Trade Show & Convention will take place at the Caesars Forum Conference Center through Thursday, July 22.
“We’re excited to kick-off Indian Country’s first major event since the pandemic at the outstanding Caesars Forum convention center,” said NIGA Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. “It’s been a long journey towards this moment. Indian Gaming is open for business, and we want to welcome all to join us as we celebrate the endurance and resilience of our industry.”
As the longest-running gaming trade show in the country, NIGA 2021 will include workshops, the gaming commissioner certification series and trade show exhibits. Sports betting and the economic recovery of tribal casinos are expected to dominate the conversation. More than 5,000 attendees are expected. NIGA’s April 2020 conference in San Diego was canceled by the pandemic.
“Everybody is excited to get out, and the fact that we’re the first ones out of the gate is incredible,” said Victor Rocha, conference chairman. “Also, it’s at a time Indian gaming is doing phenomenally.
“We leaned heavily into sports betting, because that’s what’s happening in Indian Country,” Rocha continued. “For us, it’s important to understand the market and players. Tribes have been playing their cards close to the vest and this will be the time they’re out in public and you’re able to hear what the major players are saying. A lot of decision makers and people behind the expansion of gaming and sports betting will be there.”
Stevens added that safety was “first and foremost in our planning. We’re encouraging everyone who attends to be vaccinated and if not, masks will be required, in conjunction with Clark County and CDC guidelines.
“The path to the other side of this pandemic has been a long one and takes its place in our history. The journey that now allows our paths to cross once again will be a long one, but we are going to make that journey as safe as possible. We have planned a busy week for our attendees, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work on behalf of Indian Country,” Stevens concluded.
The new 550,000-square-foot Caesars Forum center includes a 300,000-square-foot convention area with two of the largest pillar-less ballrooms in the world. It offers direct access to more than 8,500 hotel rooms at Harrah’s, the Linq and the Flamingo.
Last Friday, Stevens issued a statement saying guests may wear masks if they choose, but are not required to do so.
“We have made every effort from the very beginning to follow both the CDC Guidelines and the Clark County, Nevada Covid-19 protocols, which are specifically in place for our show,” he observed. “First and foremost, we are always about making sure our attendees have a safe and comfortable environment this year, so if they choose to wear masks as a personal precaution; we welcome that choice.”
For more information on the show, visit indiangaming.org.