There are 470 Indian gaming operations in the United States. These are owned by 242 of the
nation's 565 federally-recognized tribes and operate in 28 of the 50 states. The total
annual revenue from Indian gaming is nearing $30 billion.
(Source: National Indian Gaming Commission)
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07.23.2013 2012 Indian
Gaming Revenues Increased 2.7%
Non-Indian Gaming Industry Report
03.27.2013 Latest Indian Gaming Industry Report
Indian Casino Facts
Source: National Indian Gaming Commission
- Indian casino revenue totaled $28.1 billion in 2012. This was a 2.0%
growth over 2011.
- Indian casinos earn 43% of all U.S. casino gaming revenue.
- Indian gaming operates in 28 states. 24 states allow Vegas-style Class
III Indian casinos, 4 allow Class II-only casinos (bingo slots).
- 38 percent of all U.S. gambling revenues come from the two states
California and Oklahoma.
- Indian gaming hosts more than 346,000 gaming machines and 7,700 table games.
- Indian gaming provides 679,000 jobs nationwide (both direct & indirect jobs).
- Indian gaming pays $9 billion in taxes and revenue sharing payments to
federal, state, and local governments.
Brief History about Indian Gaming
1979 - Birth of Indian Gaming
The Seminole Tribe opened a high-stakes bingo hall on their reservation at
Hollywood, Florida on December 14, 1979 and the state tried immediately to shut
it down. This was followed by a series of court battles leading to a final
decision by the United States Supreme Court in 1981. The court ruled in favor of the Seminoles affirming
their right to operate their bingo hall.
(Seminole Tribe of Florida v.
1987 - U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes Indian Gaming
The United States Supreme Court ruled that federally-recognized tribes could
operate casinos outside state jurisdiction because the tribes were considered
sovereign entities by the United States and the gaming operation must not be
directly prohibited in that state.
Cabazon Band of Mission Indians)
1988 - Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to establish the rules
for the operation and regulation of Indian gaming.
The Act provides that a federally-recognized tribe may conduct gaming
activities within the limitations of a compact negotiated between the tribe and
the state and approved by the U.S. Department of Interior.
There is more information about the IGRA in the next section.
Indian Gaming Regulation
Indian gaming is authorized by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).
Under this law Indian tribes in any state can conduct gambling on Indian land as
long as the type of gambling has been authorized for non-Indians.
The IGRA defines "Indian land" as either:
- Land that is part of a federally recognized Indian reservation, or
- Off-reservation land that is held in trust for a tribe by the federal government.
The IGRA divides gaming into three classes:
- Class I Gaming
Defined as "traditional tribal gaming and social gaming" with minimal
prizes. This class is controlled exclusively by tribal governments.
Class II Gaming
Defined as gambling played exclusively against other players and not the house.
Examples are bingo, poker, keno, pull-tabs, punchboards, and other “non-banked” card games.
It is governed by a tribal ordinance that must meet federal guidelines and
be approved by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Class III Gaming
Defined as gambling played against the house, sometimes referred to as
Includes slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette, and "all forms of gaming
that are not class I gaming or class II gaming." Tribes negotiate
a gaming compact with the government of the state in which it is located.
The compacts insure the gambling complies with state laws.
- National Indian Gaming Commission
The NIGC was established by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 as a
federal agency to investigate, audit, review, and approve Indian gaming
- Bureau of Indian Affairs
The Bureau of Indian Affairs handles the administration and management
of 55.7 million acres of land held in trust by the United States for
American Indians, Indian tribes, and Alaska Natives. There are 562 federal
recognized tribal governments in the United States.
- Committee of Indian Affairs
This Senate committee has jurisdiction to study the unique problems of
American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native peoples including
economic development, land management, trust responsibilities, education,
health care, and claims against the United States.
- National Indian Gaming Association
The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is a non-profit Indian
gaming association of tribal members and industry members. Its mission is to
protect the welfare of tribes seeking self-sufficiency through Indian
Indian Casino News Archive
07.17.2012 2011 Indian Gaming Revenues Increased 3%
06.18.2012 Court ruling will slow development of some Indian casinos
06.14.2011 US rescinds policy against off-reservation casinos
06.15.2010 Casino Alcohol
Policies & Free Drinks
06.14.2010 2009 Indian
Gaming Revenues are $26.5 Billion
administration opposes Carcieri v. Salazar
06.03.2009 NIGC Announces 2008 Revenues
04.02.2009 Congress asked to reverse Carcieri v. Salazar
03.10.2009 Supreme Court ruling Carcieri v. Salazar
10.12.2008 20 years under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act 1988
08.22.2008 2007 Indian
Gaming Industry Report
06.24.2007 Indian Casinos grew 5% in 2007 ($26 billion revenues)