Indian Gaming Gets Spotlight at Upcoming Southern Gaming Summit

6 April 2001

LAS VEGAS, Nevada –(Press Release) --April 6, 2001 -- As Indian gaming continues to spread across the country, so does its increasing positive economic impact on tribes and their surrounding communities. Reflecting the growing trend, this year's 8th Annual Southern Gaming Summit will lend more focus than ever before on the strength and dynamism tribal gaming has brought to the South and Midwest.

Several tribal leaders will address the Summit, including Keller George, President of the United South and Eastern Tribes and a member of the Oneida Indian Nation; Phillip Martin, Tribal Chairman of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians; and Anthony Pico former Tribal Chairman of the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

Tribal government casinos represent the fastest growing segment of the nation's gaming industry, generating $10 billion in consumer spending in 2000. ``There is no way to measure how gaming has helped restore pride and hope for the future among a people who have been crushed by the despair of two centuries of poverty and suffering,' said George.

The Summit, which is the largest gaming conference held outside Las Vegas, will be held May 9 and 10 in Biloxi, Miss., at the Miss. Coliseum and Convention Center.

Keynote speakers also include Miss. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, MGM MIRAGE Chairman J. Terrence Lanni, Harrah's Entertainment Chairman, President and CEO Philip R. Satre and Mandalay Resort Group President and CFO Glenn Schaeffer.

``We are honored to have such a variety of respected tribal leaders and industry executives at the Summit,' said Beverly Martin of the Gulf Coast Gaming Association. ``The Southern Gaming Summit illustrates the important role gaming has played in providing hope to millions of Native Americans and transforming struggling towns to thriving communities.'

``We are pleased to have Keller George, Chief Phillip Martin and Anthony Pico as our guests at this conference,' said Duncan McKenzie, president of the gaming association. ``One of the most important success stories of the gaming industry's growth in this country is what it has done to help improve the economic plight of the nation's Native Americans.'

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians under Chief Martin's leadership has risen from poverty to become one of the leading employers in the Magnolia State. Tribal enterprises in Mississippi and Mexico employ more than 6,700 workers.

The Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians of Alpine, Calif., is also an example of how Tribal Government gaming can lead to economic diversity. The tribe owns a casino, a shopping center, a television station and one of the first American Indian owned banks.

Registration is $595, which includes all seminars and admission to the exhibition. Attendees can save $100 by registering before May 1. For more information call 301-694-5243. For information on exhibiting at Southern Gaming Summit, call 203-852-1340.

This year's Summit is produced by the Gulf Coast Gaming Association, Casino Journal and GEM Communications, LLC. Sponsors include Beau Rivage Resort, Boomtown Casino, Casino Magic Bay St. Louis, Copa Casino, Casino Magic Biloxi, Grand Casino Biloxi, Grand Casino Gulfport, Isle of Capri Casino, Palace Casino Resort, President Casino and Treasure Bay Casino.

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Southern Gaming Summit 2001