Focus on Raving: Tribal gaming takes center stage at the Raving NEXT conference

November 10, 2023 8:00 AM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
November 10, 2023 8:00 AM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports

This year, Raving celebrated its 25th anniversary. The Native-owned full-service casino and hospitality company’s evolution has paralleled the innovations that have marked both the gaming industry at large, and Tribal gaming in particular, over that quarter century.

“I think we’ve been able to see the industry go from Tribes really being dependent on learning from the outside of the industry to really owning the industry itself,” says Raving CEO and Owner Deana Scott. “So, for us to be a part of that, not only as an operator but on the event side, gives us a very rich foundation that a lot of organizations don’t have. It helps us to appreciate the importance of what we do every day as a business.”

Chairman Alejandre and Justin Barrett with Deana Scott (click image to watch interview)

Culminating this evolution is Raving’s flagship event, Raving NEXT: Indian Gaming Strategic Operations & Leadership Conference Jan. 30—Feb. 1, 2024, at Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma.

Focused on long-tern sustainability for Tribal gaming entities and the communities they serve, the conference dedicates itself to bridging the business of gaming with Tribal government initiatives.

As Scott shares, “We are in a highly competitive industry, and we have to be better at making data-driven decisions. The fun part for me is that we get to go into a property or a conference, listen to the needs, and then piece together the best team or speaker roster possible to make the greatest impact.”

The success of Raving and its conferences is due to its ability to build trust with its clients and partners. From the company’s inception, fostering strong relationships has been the priority. At its events, Raving provides a casual atmosphere where conversations and meetings are encouraged.

At this year’s event, topics span construction and healthcare to next generation leadership and unifying business forecasts. Scott adds that Tribes have embraced high-end gaming all the way up to sports betting and iGaming. Events like Raving NEXT aim to help Tribes navigate and implement change by opening up conversations on the future of Tribal gaming.

Raving is also aware of the increased presence of Tribal gaming in other sectors of the gaming industry. When the Indian Gaming Association held its annual tradeshow and conference in Las Vegas in 2021, IGA Chairman Ernie Stevens remarked that for years the gambling mecca wanted nothing to do with Tribal gaming.

But now there are three Tribal properties in Vegas – the Mohegan Casino Las Vegas (the Mohegan Tribe), the Palm Casino Resort (San Manuel Tribe) and Hard Rock Las Vegas (Seminole Tribe of Florida) – that are thriving, giving credence to Stevens’ statement that Tribes are now being welcomed and sought.

“I do think that people appreciate the forward thinking and the fact that Tribes are willing to invest and turn things around,” Scott says. “I think that just says a lot about where we’re headed, and I’m excited to see that.”

You can visit RavingNEXT.com to view the full conference agenda, speaker lineup, sponsorship opportunities, and to register for the event taking place January 30 – February 1, 2024 at Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, OK.