The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) hosted its bi-annual Membership Meeting this week at the Mohegan Sun Casino Resort in Uncasville where a variety of gaming and political topics were discussed. One of the discussions entitled “Competing in Today’s Gaming Market” brought together prominent tribal gaming property leaders to the table to discuss several factors leading to their success.

The panel moderated by Jason Giles, Executive Director of NIGA included Ray Pinault, President and General Manager of the Mohegan Sun, John J James, President, and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Brian Parrish, Chief Executive Officer of the Navajo Gaming Enterprises.

Giles began the discussion by asking the panel a variety of questions centered around maintaining industry standards while diversifying the tribal government gaming initiatives. Parrish offered a thorough overview of the operations on the Navajo Nation which encompass two states. 

He stated: “For the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise, our mission and purpose are directly linked to the goals and objectives of the Navajo leadership. We’re here to adapt gaming to Navajo to stimulate job creation, economic development, and ultimately support nation-building in accordance with the values of the Diné [Navajo] people.” 

He also attributed Navajo Nation’s gaming development to the vision and perseverance of the Navajo Nation government and Tribal leaders.

Foxwoods’ James, meanwhile, talked about competition from the surrounding States and how they have managed in a tough competitive environment. “Foxwoods transformed the traditional gaming model through a relentless pursuit of guest-first experiences resulting in the only true all-encompassing resort destination,” he told the meeting. “We are always committed to getting down to business with a continued focus on where the future takes us.”

Pinault, CEO of the Mohegan Sun Casino and resort, spoke about the importance of maintaining a two-pronged approach. “Diversifying while keeping our eye on Connecticut. We continue to trust in our leadership for their guidance in diversifying, which includes adding new amenities.” 

He added that the Mohegan Tribe was not satisfied with owning a single property and has not hesitated to branch out in other states to bring its unique brand of hospitality to new consumers.