Senate Committee approves Coharie tribal member’s nomination as NIGC chair, now onto full Senate

by Aug 2, 2019NEWS ka-no-he-da





E. Sequoyah Simermeyer is one step closer to being named the new chairperson of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) approved his nomination during a business meeting on Wednesday, July 31, and now the nomination will move to the full Senate.

E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, a member of the North Carolina state-recognized Coharie Tribe, has been nominated by President Trump to the position of chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). (DOI release)

“The Committee unanimously voted to confirm Mr. Simermeyer, a member of the Coharie Indian Tribe of North Carolina, to serve as chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission,” Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), SCIA chairman, said in a statement. “Given his legal background, work experience, and current position at the NIGC, Mr. Simermeyer is well qualified for this appointment.  I look forward to moving his nomination to the full Senate for confirmation.”

A member of the Coharie Tribe, a North Carolina state-recognized tribe, Simermeyer currently serves as an associate commissioner on the NIGC and is the current director of self-regulation.

Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt praised the nomination, made by President Donald J. Trump in late June, in a statement, “Sequoyah Simermeyer has a wealth of experience on tribal issues working in different executive and legislative branch capacities.  He is the ideal candidate for this position, and I urge Congress to confirm him quickly.”

Simermeyer has a Bachelor of Art degree from Dartmouth College, a Master of Study degree in environmental law from Vermont Law School, and a Juris Doctor degree from Cornell Law School.  If his nomination is confirmed, Simermeyer would serve a term of three years.

Information from the NIGC states, “The NIGC has jurisdiction over 512 licensed gaming establishments operated by 246 Indian tribes in 29 states.  In FY 2017, tribal gross gaming revenues were approximately $34.4 billion.  The NIGC currently has roughly 114 full-time employees in seven regional offices with an annual budget of $25 million in FY 2019.  The NIGC budget is funded through feeds paid by tribal gaming operations and can be up to 0.080 percent of gross gaming revenue pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”