'Dream Job' For Native Woman
Her gaming –industry experience includes work as marketing and public relations director of Gila River Casinos and public relations director for the National Indian Gaming Association in Washington, D.C.
She played a key role in 2002 getting statewide tribes to support proposition 202 which expanded Arizona Indian gambling. While she feels comfortable with the stability of Arizona Indian gaming, Morago is aware that there is always going to be someone out there to either get what you have or to do one better.
She intends to keep a close eye on Arizona and the Nation’s Capitol for moves that could erode an industry by helping tribes close some of the massive gap between their economic, social, educational and health needs and revenue to pay for it.
Jacob Coin, an Arizona Hopi, executive director of the California Nations Gaming Association in Sacramento and was the Arizona Indian Gaming Association’s first director, said Morago’s experience will benefit Arizona gaming. “Her familiarity with Washington’s ‘big players’ is critical. Even though tribal-state relations tend to receive the most attention, Indian gaming in any form and any environment is still deeply rooted in federal law and federal policy. Morago understands the issues.”
Morago added,“While gambling has been good to Arizona Indians and many other U.S. tribes, it’s not the answer to all of their needs. Tribes must stay politically active, including in the next presidential election, not just when Indian-specific issues like Proposition 202 arise.
She understands as long as there are people who don’t like Indian gambling or people who want to expand gambling in the state to race tracks with slot machines, Indian gaming is in jeopardy. With 202 in place, Morago stresses while the big battle is over, “we certainly have not won the war.”
This article has been edited from the February 2nd issue of “The Arizona Republic”, bylined John Stearns.
Next: Indian Casino Money Goes To Help Arizonans.