For Immediate Release
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau (202) 632-7003
or Phil Hogen (202) 321-8673
Phil Hogen, an Oglala Sioux from South Dakota, Completes Service as Longest Serving Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission
Washington DC, October 2, 2009 – National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman Phil Hogen, 64, who was born in Kadoka, South Dakota and lives outside Black Hawk, was appointed as the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission by President George W. Bush in November 2002, and finishes his service in that position at the end of this week.
During his tenure, which is the longest for any Chair of the agency that provides Federal oversight of the $27 billion Indian Gaming industry, the industry has experienced dramatic growth. Indian gaming operates at over 400 tribal locations in 28 states.
“Indian gaming is the most effective and dramatic economic development that ever came to Indian Country,” Hogen stated, “although it is, of course, market based, and those tribes located in urban areas have gained more than those in rural, sparsely populated places like the Dakotas.
Nevertheless, it’s worked where so many other things have failed, and I firmly believe that the strong regulation which the National Indian Gaming Commission supports, gives gaming customers justifiable confidence that tribal gaming will be fair, and insures that the proceeds of the games are appropriately utilized by tribes and their members.”
“I’m proud of the team we have built at NIGC,” Hogen said, “and am confident that as I walk out the door, tribal gaming, under strong tribal regulation, together with the Commission’s oversight and support, will continue to grow and prosper, and bring the economic development to Indian Country which was intended when Congress enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988.”
President Obama has named George Skibine of the Department of the Interior to serve as the Acting Chair of the Commission on Hogen’s departure. A permanent Chair must be nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.
Hogen, who has traveled from Washington back to his log home near Black Hawk, South Dakota as frequently as he could, will now return and reside there. He says that he plans to spend more time with his mother, Florence, who lives in the home he grew up in Kadoka, and that his wife Marty, who retired from teaching at Rapid Central High School a couple of years ago, has a number of projects for him to attend to when they get home, and that will keep him busy. He said he expects that once re-settled, he’s likely to keep his hand in the practice of Indian gaming law, but that he’s looking forward to a break for a while.
Hogen’s retirement concludes 25 years of Federal Service, which began when he served as the first Administrative Assistant to then Congressman Jim Abdnor in 1973, and thereafter he was appointed by President Reagan to serve as South Dakota’s United States Attorney, serving from 1981 to1991. Before being named as NIGC’s Chair, Hogen had served as an Associate Commissioner on the Commission from 1995-1999. Before re-joining the NIGC as its Chair, he served as the Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The Hogens have two grown children, son Herb who lives in Missoula, MT, and daughter Vanya who lives in St. Paul, MN, together with Phil and Marty’s only grandchild, granddaughter Cora, whom the Hogens will be visiting often.
The NIGC is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.
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