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US President selects new head of Indian Gaming Commission

The President of the United States has selected E. Sequoyah Simermeyer to head up the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). Simermeyer has already served as Associate Commissioner of the all-important commission and has extensive experience in the tribal gaming world. His nomination is pending approval by the US Senate.

Simermeyer is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Vermont Law School and Cornell Law School and grew up as a member of the Coharie tribe, which is based in Clinton, North Carolina. For the past four years, Simermeyer has worked as an Associate Commissioner for the NIGC and comes in to the nomination bearing high praise from the Washington D.C. elite.

In an interview with, Oklahoma attorney Gary Pitchlynn praised Simemeyer saying, “Sequoyah is a name familiar to most in the Native community from his prior work on Congressional staff and subsequent positions. He has a great deal of experience working with Congressional staff and tribes and can provide strength and credibility to the commission’s relationship with both.”

US Interior Secretary David Bernhardt added that Simemeyer is, “…is the ideal candidate…I urge Congress to confirm him quickly.”

As head of the NIGC, Simemeyer would have wide ranging powers that include the ability to issue fines to Indian gaming operations. The Commissioner is responsible for overseeing 512 Indian gaming operations that are spread out across 29 states. The Commission itself employs 114 full-time staff members who work out of seven regional offices.

One of Simemeyer’s first, and most challenging tasks, will be figuring out how regulated sports betting fits into the broader Indian gaming picture. So far there’s no word on when the Senate will consider his nomination.