Visit to the Hill
NAFSA Executive Director Gary Davis recently visited Capitol Hill to discuss the financial services industry with lawmakers and key committee staff. Top concerns for NAFSA regard the treatment of tribes and tribal entities under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s civil investigation demands authority.
“Our week on the Hill was incredibly productive, and one that I hope will lay the groundwork for strengthening tribally-owned financial services providers,” said Davis. “Tribal financial services, and specifically online lending, are growing sectors in the e-commerce industry for our people, but one that remains largely untapped due to burdensome and undue government regulation, particularly on our sovereign tribes. Though there’s still work to be done, we are making clear progress towards our goal of a robust presence for tribes and tribal entities in the financial services sector.
“My recent conversations on Capitol Hill make it crystal clear there is broad support in Congress to ensure tribes are able to self-determine their future in the financial services sector and that tribal sovereignty should continue to be honored and upheld,” continued Davis. “As is the case with so many important initiatives and issues in Indian Country, we have work to do in educating lawmakers and staff about the members of NAFSA, our work, and how current policies are impacting the economic livelihoods of our member tribes. Members of Congress working on these reforms should respect tribal sovereignty while also creating a fair and reasonable regulatory environment.”
Milestone Casino Research Released
Fifty-three tribal casinos across the United States participated in Raving Consulting’s comprehensive Indian Gaming Marketing survey, the first quantitative overview of its nature. Casinos big and small responded to the study. The study looked at topics integral to casino managers and marketers. The report provides measurements and benchmarks; trends and challenges of marketing in Indian gaming; and insights from casino marketers and operators, among other broad topics.
Raving CEO Deana Scott says, “The research is perhaps the most comprehensive Indian Gaming Marketing Research project ever. It provides valuable nationwide information about the trends and challenges of marketing in Indian Gaming. We want to grow this survey into an increasingly important tool that provides measurement and comparison benchmarks to the industry.”
In late January, the survey results were announced at Raving’s 19th Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference at Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, OK. The report is available upon request.
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Mohawk Networks Recipient of Major Grant
New NY Broadband awarded Mohawk Networks $6.4 million through a Round II state broadband funding program in New York. Mohawk Networks is owned by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. Round II funding amounts to $268 million in public-private investments in an effort to provide access to high-speed broadband services to unserved and underserved households in the New York region.
With the new funding, the Mohawk enterprise will greatly expand its wireless technology in the Lewis County census block. The grant’s first stage will enable the activation of five towers in the county.
“The Tribe recognizes the importance of high-speed broadband accessibility and what it has done for our own community. It’s unfortunate that in this day and age, our neighbors in the North Country remain underserved or not served at all. For this reason, we feel that it is our responsibility to ensure our neighboring communities are afforded the same opportunities to grow and thrive,” remarked Chief Ron LaFrance. “Receiving this grant will allow Mohawk Networks to fast track the delivery of high-speed Internet service to thousands of homes.”
River Bend Casino Hotel Opening
Last month, the Wyandotte Nation opened its 92-room hotel at River Bend Casino, which underwent a $30 million expansion and renovation. The hotel addition, equipped with conference and meeting rooms, brings a commercial rebranding to the casino to attract business and leisure travelers.
People on the Move
Sioux City, IA – Annette Hamilton Vice President and Chief Operating Officer was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank at the branch in Kansas City, Omaha. Hamilton joined Ho-Chunk, Inc. in 2001. Owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, the conglomerate specializes in government contracting and economic development. In her role as COO, Hamilton oversees the daily operations of more than 30 Ho-Chunk, Inc. subsidiary companies.
“It’s truly an honor to be selected to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, lending my financial experience in the business world to assist with the economic success of our nation’s financial system,” said Hamilton.