The National Indian Gaming Commission is an independent federal agency that is responsible for regulating over 500 gaming organizations that are operated in the United States by close to 250 tribes. The group is preparing to gain a new chairman and a member of the Coharie Tribe of North Carolina is close to earning the position.

New Chairman:

Coharie Tribe member E. Sequoyah Simermeyer is the associate commissioner for the organization and was nominated for the chairman position earlier this week. The nomination is for a three-year term and it must be approved by the full Senate to become a reality.

According to the Charlotte Observer…

Simermeyer has many people in his corner for the position. Craven County commissioner, Scott Dacey, has sung his praises, stating: “He’s got a substantial body of experience relating to the National Indian Gaming Commission, and he’s going to have a well-rounded background to bring to this position.”

Senator John Hoeven, a Senator of North Dakota also commented on Simermeyer, stating that he has the legal background, work experience and his current position within the organization shows that he is well-qualified for the position.

Helping Tribal Efforts:

Others are hoping that Simermeyer will use the position to help tribes in other states in negotiating their contracts for gaming, including sports betting. North Carolina passed sports betting as well as horse wagering legislation in July. The Indian casinos of the state can now offer such wagering services. However, next-door neighbor South Carolina does not, despite efforts by the Catawba Indian Nation to try and open a gaming venue.

Senator Tom Udall is hoping that Simermeyer will help in the position to open up opportunities for all tribes in the state. Udall pointed out that it is particularly important when it comes to ensuring that states will act in good faith when it comes to negotiating compacts with tribes.