FanDuel Adds Experienced Tribal Gaming Leader in Simermeyer

Former chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission to aide in FanDuel's tribal relations efforts.

Feb 26, 2024 • 15:30 ET • 4 min read
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

FanDuel continued its focus on building relationships with tribal nations on Monday.  

The online sportsbook operator announced the hiring of E. Sequoyah Simermeyer to a vice president of strategic positions role. 

Simermeyer previously served as the chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, giving FanDuel an experienced leader in its efforts to promote economic development in tribal nations.

“Sequoyah Simermeyer has been at the forefront of shaping and safeguarding tribal gaming, focusing on priority issues and public policy for close to 25 years,” said Rikki Tanenbaum, FanDuel senior vice president of strategic partnerships. “We are very honored to welcome Chairman Simermeyer to the FanDuel leadership team, as he brings a career dedicated to addressing tribal economic development. With his guidance, we look forward to learning how to best partner with and support native sovereign nations across the country.”

Public servant to Indian Country

Simermeyer worked as a regulator for a federal regulatory agency that oversaw a $40 billion tribal industry.    

Simermeyer also served as an adviser to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and he worked for the National Congress of American Indians. 

“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 legalized and regulated marketplace in the U.S. 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.”

Sights on California?

This is the third similar addition to FanDuel since October when Tanenbaum was brought into the executive team after serving as the CEO of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. Frank Sizemore, who also worked with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, also took on a strategic partnership role at FanDuel in January. 

Enhancing tribal relationships in current FanDuel markets is obviously essential, but the sportsbook operator is also positioning itself when sports betting in California is legalized as it is expected to eventually run through the Golden State’s tribal nations. 

That likely won’t happen until at least 2025. An attempt to gain ballot measures in 2023 was opposed by the California Nations Gaming Association, which represents 52 of the state’s tribes. 

James Siva, the chair of that organization, recently made it clear the California tribes will play an instrumental role when sports betting comes to the enormous market.

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