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ANAHEIM, Calif. — The largest Indian gaming organization in the country decided to drop “National” from its title because the “NIGA” acronym was considered offensive if misinterpreted or mispronounced. 

A name change was announced at the National Indian Gaming Association’s 2022 Tradeshow and Convention at the annual membership meeting in Anaheim, Calf. on Wednesday. 

The new name of the organization is now the Indian Gaming Association (IGA). Established in 1985 as a non-profit organization, the board of directors approved the name change last year and has been working on all legal matters related to changing the name. 

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“This has been in the works for a long time. In the old days, people put together this amazing organization and will live with a lot of energy. The acronym just was not comfortable in the world we live in,” Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman and spokesperson of the IGA said to Native News Online

“People may misinterpret or even mispronounce our old acronym. We view it as a housekeeping item we wanted to clear up. We have never mispronounced our old acronym, but we wanted to clear it up,” Stevens continued. 

IGA’s tradeshow and convention kicked off on Tuesday at the Anaheim Convention Center. The annual convention attracts over 5,000 tribal casino administrators and staff. and those seeing to do business with tribal gaming facilities. 

IGA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has over 250 tribes as members representing tribal gaming casinos and resorts across the United States.

The tradeshow and convention ends on Friday. 

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Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected]