Ernie-Stevens Danny-Trejo G2E Award

At this year’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) – an annual gambling industry show in Las Vegas – The Indian Gaming Association (IGA) hosted its annual tribal leaders reception on Tuesday and presented actor Danny Trejo, a renowned film and television star, with the Chairman’s Leadership Award.

Trejo’s journey to success in the entertainment industry has been exceptional and well-recognized in Hollywood and beyond. He has transitioned from years of incarceration to aiding troubled youth in overcoming drug addiction, from acting to producing, and now to ventures in the restaurant business.

Trejo’s filmography boasts numerous titles, including Desperado, Heat, Con Man, and appearances on television shows like From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series. He also had recurring roles on Sons of Anarchy, King of the Hill, and Breaking Bad.

Trejo accepted the award and revealed that his research had uncovered his Yaqui Indian heritage. He spoke about his challenging upbringing that led to a life of criminal activities, resulting in multiple stints in jail and prison throughout the 1960s. In 1969 Trejo transformed his life after his release from jail and began assisting his neighbors with their daily needs.

Trejo reflected, “From 1969 to now, that’s all I’ve done is help other people pay it forward.” He continued, “That’s all, and my life has turned into an absolute miracle from almost going to the gas chamber to being one of the most recognizable Latinos on the planet. I just want to thank everybody. I want to especially thank you for having invited me today. It means so much.”

In addition to his commitment to giving back, Trejo has found success in expanding his Trejo’s Tacos enterprise, which now comprises eight Los Angeles locations. He also owns and operates Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, a venture that has proven equally prosperous.

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Jenny Tang

Global iGaming Analyst based in New York City. Jenny's work can also be found at &