HOLLYWOOD — Truman Bowers, who served on the Seminole Tribe’s Gaming Commission from 2007 to July 2015, commemorated his service surrounded by family and friends Nov. 4 during a celebratory dinner at the Chef’s Table at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood. Bowers’ term recently ended with the appointment of Mitch Osceola to the commission.
“I always liked the atmosphere of gaming,” Bowers said. “There is always action and we’re expanding all the time.”
The commission is the Tribe’s governmental agency with regulatory and oversight responsibilities under the compact between the Tribe and state. It aims to protect tribal assets, independently oversee gaming operations and control Seminole gaming licenses for employees who handle cash in casinos. The commission issues, renews, suspends and revokes licenses.
“The biggest challenge was handling employees’ licenses when they didn’t follow procedures,” Bowers said. “If their license is revoked, it affects their livelihood and they can’t work in gaming anywhere in the country. But they should know the policies and procedures; they aren’t children.”
Neither the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) nor the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) requires Tribes to establish gaming commissions, but Tribes must adhere to specific governmental responsibilities to engage in gaming under IGRA, according to NIGC’s website.
The commission meets monthly, plus once a year, with the state compliance agency overseeing the compact, Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Members of the Seminole Gaming Commission are Alan Huff, chairman; Gordon Ollie Wareham, vice chairman; Betty Cypress King, secretary; and Jarrid Smith and Mitch Osceola, commissioners.
Bowers believes the Tribe’s gaming operation is important to the state and will continue to move forward.
“The money made here stays in the state; plus we support all the vendors who do business with us,” he said. “We were here before the state and we aren’t going anywhere. We will be here long after they are gone.”
Bowers said he enjoyed his time serving on the commission.
“Nothing stays the same,” he said. “Things always change, mostly for the better.”
Hollywood Councilman Chris Osceola hosted the dinner and presented Bowers with a patchwork jacket.