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FanDuel has hired former National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) chair E. Sequoyah Simermeyer as VP of strategic partnerships.

Simermeyer was appointed as chair of the federal regulatory agency by president Donald Trump in 2019, where he was confirmed by the US Senate.

As NIGC chairman, Simermeyer was charged with enforcing US federal regulations, reviewing gaming facility licences and deciding on approvals of all tribal gaming ordinances.

“I am joining the private sector for the first time, and it mattered to me to join a team where I could use my background as a former regulator, legislative staffer, and public servant to Indian Country,” said Simermeyer.

“FanDuel is the leader in mobile gaming and has helped shape the rise of the legalised and regulated marketplace in the US.

“Mobile gaming remains a very young and dynamic industry, and I’m excited to help the team build out our capacity to work within Indian Country nationally to take advantage of opportunities ahead.”

Altogether, the Cornell Law School graduate served with the NIGC for eight years, first being appointed by US secretary of interior as a commissioner in 2015.

In this capacity he was charged with approving agency budgets and promulgating federal Indian gambling regulations.

Prior to joining the NIGC, Simermeyer was deputy chief of staff to the assistant secretary of Indian affairs. In this position, he worked on an array of national policy issues.

FanDuel attempts to build bridges with Indian Country

The move has been widely understood as a bid to re-engage tribal interests, after a period which has seen tribal relations with operators hit a low ebb.

This followed a disastrous 2022 campaign in California, where the tribes and operators floated duelling online sports betting proposals that both failed.

The operator-led measure faced particular criticism for framing the ballot as an anti-homelessness initiative, which led to accusations of “deceptive” campaigning.

FanDuel has also hired San Manuel Band of Mission Indians COO Rikki Tanenbaum and former San Manuel vice president of operations Frank Sizemore as SVP and VP of strategic partnerships respectively.

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