Experts to Discuss Tribal Gaming Changes

18 January 2005

SACRAMENTO, California – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Three noted experts on tribal
government gaming will discuss proposed changes that could dramatically alter
the nature of Indian casinos at the upcoming Western Indian Gaming Conference
in Palm Springs January 26.

The panel, "The Fight to Save Class II Gaming," will focus on proposed
changes by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) on the definition and
technical standards of so-called Class II games, over which the NIGC has
oversight responsibility.

The panel will be moderated by Michael Lombardi, a former Indian casino
manager, gaming expert and the current chief regulator for the Augustine Band
of Cahuilla Indians in the Coachella Valley. Also on the panel will be Terry
Poust, a past member of the NIGC and currently an attorney practicing Indian
law with the firm of Holland & Knight, and Judith Shapiro, another leading
legal expert on Indian gaming who is now a sole practitioner representing a
number of tribes.

"The NIGC has gone so far as to consider redefining what the game of bingo
is, something that is outside their jurisdiction," Lombardi said. "The
commission is also considering requiring a type of pre-certification of Class
II games before they can be operated. We find both these developments very
troubling and we will be discussing the ramifications of these potential
actions and others." Class II gaming generally refers to bingo and does not
include banked card games, black jack or slot machines.

Last year the conference drew more than 600 participants and 130
exhibitors. It will be held January 26-27 at the Palm Springs Convention

The conference is sponsored by the California Nations Indian Gaming
Association, the state's largest Indian organization with 62 federally
recognized member tribes. CNIGA is a non-profit trade association comprised of
gaming and non-gaming tribal nations and is dedicated to the purpose of
protecting the sovereign right of Indian tribes to have gaming on federally
recognized Indian lands. It acts as a planning and coordinating agency for
legislative, policy, legal and communications efforts on behalf of its members
and serves as an industry forum for information and resources.

The Palm Springs Convention Center is located at 277 North Avenida
Caballeros. CNIGA Director of Communications Susan Jensen will be on site at
the conference to coordinate interview and coverage requests. She can be
reached at 916-448-8706 prior to the convention. Media may obtain press
credentials at the registration counters located in the Convention Center.
Individuals wishing to attend the conference may register on-site beginning on
Tuesday, January 25. Additional information, including a complete schedule of
events may be obtained on the CNIGA web site at

Related Links
Californian Online Gambling
Western Indian Gaming Conference (WIGC) 2005