Katherine A. Spilde, Ph.D.

Dr. Katherine (Kate) Spilde is a leading authority on the social and economic impacts of casino gaming on communities. With a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and an MBA in entrepreneurial management, Dr. Spilde has presented her public policy and economic development research to industry, government and academic audiences in Japan, Macau, London, Hong Kong, Finland, Canada, France, Russia and Portugal. She has also testified before the US Congress four times on such diverse issues as tribal land claims, federal recognition of tribal governments and tribal economic development. In particular, Dr. Spilde’s work focuses on providing support for tribal governments to direct their casino gaming revenues toward nation (re)building efforts.

Kate is currently a Professor in the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at San Diego State University (SDSU), where she serves as Endowed Chair of the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming. In her role as Sycuan Chair, Dr. Spilde is responsible for teaching and managing the nation’s first four-year degree program in tribal casino operations management.

Translating academic research into gaming industry practices.

Educating the next generation of tribal government gaming leadership.

Sharing nation building and economic development strategies around the globe.

Translating academic research into gaming industry practices.

See me speak!

March 25, 2020

Where There’s Smoke: An Overview of Research into the Impact of Non-Smoking Constraints on Tribal Casino Operations in California (Presenter)

National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Tradeshow
San Diego, CA

Past Speaking Engagements

March 10, 2020

Responsible Gaming in Indian Country: Are We Doing too Much?

US Gaming Compliance and Integrity Boot Camp
Seton Hall Law School

February 11, 2020

Institutions and Development: Lessons from Native American Tribes (Seminar)

London School of Economics
London, England

February 5, 2020

Building an Industry with Responsible Gambling, Conscious Advertising and Consumer Protection at its Core (Presenter)

ICE Totally Gaming Show
London, England

January 30, 2020

Cybersecurity, Data Privacy and Liability (Moderator)

Tribal Government E-Commerce Conference
Chandler, AZ

January 10, 2020

Compacts and Impacts: What You Need to Know (Presenter)

National Conference of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) Winter Meeting
San Diego, CA

January 4, 2020

Overview of the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming: Building a Field of Study (Presenter)

American Economics Association Conference
San Diego, CA

October 13, 2019

The National Gambling Impact Study Commission Final Report: Twenty Years Later (Presenter)

National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) Conference
Las Vegas, NV

August 6, 2019

Tribal Gaming: An Overview (Presenter)

Saratoga Gaming Institute
Saratoga Springs, NY

July 23, 2019

Tribal Gaming Investments in Responsible Gaming: Balancing Public Relations and Public Health (Presenter)

Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) Tradeshow
Tulsa, OK

July 18, 2019

Recovering Indigenous History Through Comics (Panelist)

ComicCon
San Diego, CA

May 30, 2019

The National Gambling Impact Study Commission Twenty Years Later: What We Know Now (Presenter)

UNLV Gambling & Risk Taking Conference
Las Vegas, NV

May 21, 2019

CEO Panel: Casino Leaders, Market Conditions (Moderator)

UNLV Gaming and Hospitality Education Series, Tribal Gaming Economy: Battling Competition
Morongo Casino
Cabazon, CA

April 2, 2019

Promoting Economic Development and Self Governance Through Intergovernmental Relations (Moderator)

NIGA Trade Show
San Diego, CA

April 2, 2019

Government-to-Government Relations: The New Gaming Paradigm (Moderator)

NIGA Trade Show
San Diego, CA

February 25, 2019

Native American History, Constitutions and Law: Gaming (Presenter)

Tribal Administration Certificate Program
Claremont Graduate University
Claremont, CA

February 14, 2019

Impacts of Tribal Government Gaming: The Industry Perspective (Moderator)

Symposium on The Next Thirty Years of Indian Gaming at the Brookings Institution
Washington, DC

February 6, 2019

Public Health Principles for State Policy on Gambling Disorder (Moderator)

Western Indian Gaming Conference
Rincon Casino
Valley Center, CA

February 4, 2019

Are the State of California’s Charges for Responsible Gaming Fair and Reasonable? (Presenter)

Western Indian Gaming Conference
Rincon Casino
Valley Center, CA

February 1, 2019

Blockchain: Applications for Tribal Governments (Moderator)

Innovative Strategies for Business Development Via E-Commerce Co-sponsored by ASU Law School
Wildhorse Pass Casino/Gila River Indian Reservation
Chandler, AZ

February 1, 2019

The Future of Sports Betting in Indian Country (Moderator)

Innovative Strategies for Business Development Via E-Commerce Co-sponsored by ASU Law School
Wildhorse Pass Casino/Gila River Indian Reservation
Chandler, AZ

January 28, 2019

Leadership Training: Managing Personal Conflict in the Workplace

Native American Human Resource Conference
Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa
Rancho Mirage, CA

October 8, 2018

G2E 2018

National Center for Responsible Gaming Annual Conference
Sands Convention Center
Las Vegas, NV

July 24, 2018

Balancing the Demands of Government and Business: Tribal Economic Development and Nation Building

Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Trade Show and Conference
Oklahoma City, OK

April 18, 2018

A Review of Litigation, Legislation and DOI Initiatives (Presenter)

NIGA Tradeshow
Las Vegas, NV

February 13, 2018

Opioids: No Longer the Invisible Enemy of Indian Country

National Congress of American Indians
PJ Clarke’s
Washington, DC

February 6, 2018

The Tribal Gaming Difference: Conveying the Distinction between Tribal Government Gaming and Commercial Gaming

Western Indian Gaming Conference
Harrah’s Rincon Casino
Valley Center, California

February 2, 2018

The Future of Sports Betting: A New Playing Field?

Tribal E-Commerce Conference
Gila River: Wild Horse Pass Casino
Chandler, Arizona

October 4, 2017

The Next Generation: Leadership Development in Tribal Gaming

Global Gaming Expo 2017
Las Vegas, Nevada

October 2, 2017

The Politics of Responsible Gaming

NCRG Annual Conference
Las Vegas, Nevada

October 2, 2017

Wellbriety: A Native American Recovery Movement

NCRG Annual Conference
Las Vegas, Nevada

July 25, 2017

Freeplay Isn't Free

Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Tradeshow and Convention
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

April 9-12, 2017

National Indian Gaming Association Tradeshow and Conference

San Diego, California

Educating the next generation of tribal government gaming leadership.

Education

  • Ph.D. 1994 - 1998

    Ph.D. in Anthropology

    University of California, Santa Cruz

  • M.B.A. 2005 - 2007

    M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship

    University of California, Riverside

  • M.A. 1991 - 1993

    M.A. in Anthropology

    George Washington University

  • B.A. 1987 - 1991

    B.A. in Anthropology

    University of Hawaii-Manoa

Positions

  • Present2018

    Professor

    San Diego State University – L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

  • 20182008

    Associate Professor

    San Diego State University – L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

  • Present2008

    Endowed Chair

    San Diego State University – Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming

  • Present2012

    Adjunct Professor

    San Diego State University – American Indian Studies Department, College of Arts and Letters

  • Present2015

    Adjunct Professor

    Claremont Graduate University – Tribal Administration Program

  • 20082004

    Executive Director

    University of California at Riverside – Center for California Native Nations, College of Arts and Sciences

  • 20042001

    Senior Research Associate

    Harvard University – Kennedy School of Government

  • 20032002

    Independent Studies Instructor

    New York University

Sharing nation building and economic development strategies around the globe.

Recognitions

  • 2017
    NIGA Chairman's Award
    The award was given to the Sycuan Institute on Tribal Gaming, where I am the Endowed Chair. The students in the photo are members and alumni of the Tribal Gaming Student Association including two Sycuan tribal members.
  • 2016
    Academic Award for Research Paper
    Online Sovereignty: The Law and Politics of Tribal Electronic Commerce, which won 2nd place in the Hargrave Faculty Writing Competition at the 2016 Sovereignty Symposium.
  • 2012
    Chairman's Leadership Award
    h2-niga-award-img_3529Presented with the Chairman’s Leadership Award for my research on tribal government gaming by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA).
  • 2011
    Visiting Scholar Fellowship
    Nihon University College of Economics – Tokyo, Japan
  • 2010
    Twenty-five People to Watch in the Gaming Industry
    Named one of “Twenty-five People to Watch in the Gaming Industry,” by Global Gaming Business Magazine.
  • 2008
    Chairman's Leadership Award
    Presented with the Chairman’s Leadership Award for creating the 4-year degree in Tribal Casino Operations Management by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA). View newsletter.
  • 2007
  • 2003

Testimony Before the United States Congress

Presented testimony before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) regarding S. 519, the Native American Capital Formation and Economic Development Act of 2003. July 21, 2004.

Presented testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Resources regarding reform of the Federal Acknowledgment Process (FAP) in the Branch of Acknowledgment and Research (BAR). March 31, 2004.

Presented testimony before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA) regarding S. 343, the Indian Tribal Development Consolidated Funding Act of 2001. May 8, 2002.

Presented testimony before the U.S. Congressional Field Hearing in Hartford, Connecticut addressing the 1983 Mashantucket Pequot Land Claims Settlement Act. February 9, 2001.