NIGC Welcomes Samuel Wetzler as New Portland Region Director

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Keith Martinez
(202) 632-7003

NIGC Welcomes Samuel Wetzler as New Portland Region Director 

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Tuesday, January 22, 2019 –The National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman, Jonodev O. Chaudhuri, announces Samuel Wetzler as the new Region Director for the Portland Region. Region Director Wetzler officially began his role on December 30, 2018, and is taking over for retiring Region Director Mark Philips. Mr. Wetzler has been with the Agency since February 2017, initially serving as a Compliance Officer for the Portland Region.

As Region Director, Mr. Wetzler will be responsible for technical assistance, training, and compliance at 53 Indian gaming facilities owned and operated by 48 federally recognized tribes located in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

“With over two decades of work in Indian gaming, Mr. Wetzler brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Portland Region Director position. We look forward to him applying his experience and leadership in his new role,” said Dustin Thomas, NIGC Director of Compliance.

This appointment naturally arises out the remarkable career and experience that Region Director Wetzler has brought to the Agency. Since 1994, Mr. Wetzler has worked for various tribes in the Northwest and has 25 years of tribal gaming, supervisory, and management experience. He spent many years of his career working in different fields of Indian gaming, such as security, surveillance, and regulatory. Region Director Wetzler previously served as the Tribal Gaming Regulatory Authority (TGRA) Director for the Nisqually Indian Tribe, TGRA Director and Surveillance Director for the Lummi Nation, and Executive Director of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ TGRA.

Mr. Wetzler graduated from Eastern Washington University and holds a degree in Criminal Justice and Minor in Sociology.

“I am excited to start a new role within NIGC as the Region Director for the Portland Region Office. For the better part of the past two decades I’ve worked for gaming tribes and look forward to continue the mission, principles, and priorities of the National Indian Gaming Commission,” said Mr. Wetzler.

Please join us in congratulating Region Director Wetzler in his new appointment and sending a big “Thank You” to Mark Phillips for his service to the Agency. We wish him the best in his retirement. 


The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming. The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission, including: (1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes; (2) To stay ahead of the Technology Curve; (3) Rural outreach; and (4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners. NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 499 gaming establishments operated by 244 tribes across 28 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $31.2 billion Indian gaming industry. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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