Susan Jensen, Executive Director, CNIGA

For those of you new to the industry, it may seem like the Tribal casinos we know today have been around forever. Some of us old-timers remember when they were temporary sprung structures, not like the many luxury, four-star resorts they are today.

The transition to legal gambling for Tribes and the collective efforts and battles based in our state capitals were not easy ones.

In this interview, we’re going to explore a very diverse gaming market, California, which hosts not only Tribal casinos, but horse racing and commercial card-rooms.

On Air with me is Susan Jensen – Executive Director, The California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA). Susan joined CNIGA over 22 years ago, and as a matter of fact, was their first employee. She admits she hit the ground running without having much knowledge of California Tribes. She was thrust into the role of PR coordinator during an incredible pivotal and historical time. You might not think legislation is fascinating, but the way Susan tells it, it is.

Fast forward over two decades later, and she has more insight to share as Tribes again are collectively facing another major opportunity: sports betting. What’s the legislative status in California? What do the Tribes want? Will 2021 be a turning point?

High kudos to Susan, Ambar and the rest of the team at CNIGA. They do an incredible job communicating with the industry – we so appreciate you. To find out more, please go to