January 24, 2023 2 min read


Michael Hoenig to Leave General Counsel Position with NIGC

The United States federal regulatory agency within the Department of Interior, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), announced that its long-term general counsel, Michael Hoenig, will be leaving the organization

On Monday, the NIGC’s chairman, E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, revealed that Hoenig’s departure will be effective starting from January 27, 2023. Overall, Hoenig was a part of NIGC for 16 years. During that time, he has held key roles within the Commission. In his most recent role as general counsel, Hoenig spent the last seven years. Throughout his career with the NIGC, he played a key role in assisting tribes’ growth. At the same time, Hoenig, via the NIGC helped tribal governments’ economies and ensured the federal agency remains trusted by the public.

Hoenig was the longest-serving general counsel for the NIGC. He helped navigate the agency through unprecedented difficulties in the Indian gaming sector. Both before and after the pandemic, Hoenig played a key role and helped the NIGC. What’s more, under his watch, in collaboration with experts from the agency, the NIGC went through compliance audits and overcame new cyber threats.

Considering the planned departure of Hoenig, Simermeyer revealed it appointed Rea Cisneros as the NIGC’s acting general counsel. On the other hand, Esther Dittler was selected as the acting associate general counsel.

Hoenig Helped Significantly the Agency

Speaking about the departure, Hoenig said that he is leaving with “mixed emotions.” He pointed out: “I am sincerely grateful to have been privileged enough to get to serve with the amazing staff to advance the mission and purposes of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act – to protect Tribal gaming as one of the most important economic resources in Indian country.” Finally, Hoenig explained that he will continue his mission but while holding a new role with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

I am both excited for Mike as he pursues a new and well-deserved opportunity in Indian country.

E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission

Simermeyer added that Hoenig contributed significantly by implementing new practices and introducing a new approach. He pointed out that Hoenig’s efforts contributed toward the improvement of the skills of the agency’s legal employees. Finally, Simermeyer said that he will miss Hoenig’s leadership and his respected voice which has been a driving force for innovation within the NIGC.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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