Sharon M. Avery appointed as Acting Chair of NIGC

National Indian Gaming Commission Sharon Avery
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The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has a new Acting Chair of the agency.

President Joe Biden has appointed NIGC Associate Commissioner Sharon M. Avery as Acting Chair of the agency. Avery, who assumed the role on May 15, will serve as Acting Chair until a permanent Senate-confirmed Chair is appointed. On May 5, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland appointed Avery to a three-year term as Associate Commissioner.

Avert will hold both positions until a permanent Chair is both appointed and confirmed.

“I am humbled the administration has entrusted me with the distinguished opportunity to serve as the NIGC Acting Chair. In this capacity, and to the best of my abilities, I will diligently execute my duties and responsibilities designated by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to continue the Agency’s regulatory oversight of tribal gaming facilities without disruption,” said Avery in a statement.

Avery, a member of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, has worked for the NIGC over the last four years as Associate General Counsel.

Her prior experience includes over 10 years working in the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan’s legal department.

Avery was appointed as Acting Chair after former Chair E. Sequoyah Simermeyer resigned from the NIGC to take a position at FanDuel after spending nine years with the commission.

Simermeyer was integral to helping the NIGC navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic.

His efforts saw tribal casinos across America generate a record $41 billion in revenue in 2023, according to a NIGC fiscal year report.