In this episode of Kinectify Conversations, Jamie Hummingbird, Chairman of the National Tribal Gaming Commissioners and Regulators (NTGCR), joins hosts Shannon Adair and Sean Topchi to discuss tribal gaming regulation.
Hummingbird provides background on his 30 years of experience in tribal gaming regulation. He explains the roles and responsibilities of tribal gaming commissions, including oversight of gaming activities, licensing, auditing, and public health and safety. The conversation covers trends in sports betting, evaluating new gaming technologies, working collaboratively with gaming operators, and regulatory agility. Hummingbird also highlights the NTGCR's mission to provide education and share best practices among tribal regulators across the country.
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[00:00:00] Shannon Adair: Welcome to Kinectify Conversations. My name is Shannon Adair and I'm the Director of Client Success at Kinectify. Our mission is to share the experience, expertise, and insights from gaming industry leaders that comes from years of navigating the complexities and impact of compliance. On this episode, we have special guest:
[00:00:22] Jamie Hummingbird: My name is Jamie Hummingbird and I am the Chairman of the National Tribal Gaming Commissioners and Regulators.
[00:00:27] Shannon Adair: Also with us today:
[00:00:28] Sean Topchi: My name is Sean Topchi and I'm the Director of Business Development at Kinectify.
[00:00:33] Shannon Adair: Thanks for joining us today, and remember to like and subscribe to the podcast. You can also learn more any time at kinectify.com.
That's K I N E C T I F Y dot com..
Jamie, we're really excited to have you here with us today. Thanks for joining us. Can you get things started by giving us a little bit of a background on yourself and also your time as a gaming commissioner?
[00:01:14] Jamie Hummingbird: Yes, thank you Shannon. I've been doing gaming regulation in Indian country for approximately 30 years now.
I started serving with my tribe, the Cherokee Nation, back in 1998 as the Gaming Commission Director and oversaw the growth of our gaming operations and our regulatory environment over the years, to include up to 14 different gaming operations as well as up to 63 tribal gaming regulators under my department. Starting in 1998, I was able to really get on the ground floor of the development of Class II electronic gaming, served on two NIGC advisory committees, one in 2001 to review and revise the minimum internal control standards and in 2005, to establish technical standards for Class II gaming. Been able to testify before Congress on a couple of occasions, all talking about the state of regulation in any gaming in Indian country. And since 2006, I've served as the Chairman of the National Tribal Gaming Commissioners and Regulators Association.
[00:02:21] Sean Topchi: That's an incredible background and experience set. Jamie, for the more operational compliance folks who are on the casino side or maybe we've even been on the commercial side, can you explain the role of the Tribal Gaming Commission in a little bit of detail for people who may not be as familiar as with, what the expansive responsibilities of the Tribal Gaming Commission is?
[00:02:44] Jamie Hummingbird: In many ways, tribal gaming, regulatory authorities, or TGA for short are really no different than any other regulatory body out there, whether it be state or federal. We, for lack of a better term, or to just apply a generic label to what it is that we do, we are operating essentially as consumer protection agencies, if you will.
We ensure that all of the games are operated fairly, that the public is entitled to a fair gaming experience. And that probably most importantly for the tribal regulator out there, to make sure that the tribe is the sole beneficiary of all the gaming revenues produced by our operations. That's a very broad net, if you will, to cast.
But underneath that we have a lot of different and varying activities that, some of which are very obvious to the casual observer, but some of which are not. We do oversee all the gaming activities, whether that be approving the games that are offered within our establishments. We look at the promotional and the marketing activities that go along with the operation of a casino...