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Indian Gaming

American Indian Gaming in 29 States

Since legalization by Congress in 1988, Indian Gaming has developed and grown over the decades to become a $31 billion industry. Today Indian gaming operates in 29 states.

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News Updates

News Online Gaming Market to reach $96B by 2024 June 25, 2018 - Market research shows a rapidly growing market for online gaming in the United States and the world. ... Read more News 2017 Indian Gaming Revenues Increase 3.9% to $32.4 Billion June 26, 2018 - The total 2017 revenue is based on audited financial statements of 494 gaming operations owned by 242 federally recognized Tribes. ... Read more News NIGC Statement on the Supreme Court ruling on Sports Betting May 15, 2018 - (PRESS RELEASE) The National Indian Gaming Commission of the U.S. Interior Dept issued a statement of support to those tribes seeking to offer sports wagering on their lands. ... Read more News NIGC Reflects on 30-Year Growth of Indian Gaming
01.28.2018 - From a $1 million industry 30 years ago to a burgeoning $30 billion economic powerhouse today, a look at the Indian gaming's development and ... Read more
More Articles
News Does Indian gaming have a $100 billion economic impact?
10.19.2017 - A report on the economic impact of Native American casinos in the U.S. was recently released. The report was presented by the American Gaming Association (AGA). It was released in Oklahoma City ... Read more
News 2016 Indian Gaming industry grew 4.4% to $31.2 billion
07.17.2017 - National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) released the Fiscal Year 2016 Gross Gaming Revenue numbers totaling $31.2 billion, an overall increase of 4.4%. ... Read more
News 2015 Indian Gaming industry grew 5% to $29.9 billion dollars
07.15.2016 - National Indian Gaming Commission Press Release PR-250 07-2016, Live from Indian Country, the NIGC Announces Largest Tribal Revenue Gain in 10 Years, ... Read more
News 2014 Indian Gaming industry grew 1.5% to $28.5 billion
07.23.2015 - Released data showing revenues generated by the Indian gaming industry in 2014 totaled $28.5 billion, marking the fifth consecutive year of growth of gross gaming revenues (GGR) since 2009. ... Read more
News 2013 Indian Gaming Industry Report
05.06.2015 - 2015 Casino City Press today announced the release of the 2015 edition of Casino City's Indian Gaming Industry Report the most comprehensive, up-to-date study of Indian gaming ... Read more
News Archive


Brief History about Indian Gaming

1979 Birth of Indian Gaming - Florida Seminoles open high-stakes bingo hall.
1981 U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Seminole bingo hall was legal.
1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruled California Indian card games are legal.
1988 U.S. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA)
2018 Sports betting restrictions overruled by U.S. Supreme Court.

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. (Ref: Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Butterworth)

1987 - U.S. Supreme Court Recognizes Indian Gaming
The United States Supreme Court ruled that federally-recognized tribes could operate gaming facilities 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. (Ref: California v. 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.

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Indian Gaming Regulations

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 Vegas-style gambling.  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.
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Government Agencies

  • 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 ordinances.
  • 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 568 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 gaming.
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News Articles

Online Gaming Market to reach $96B by 2024

June 25, 2018

After market research analysis, it is estimated that by 2024, online gaming revenue could total $96 billion worldwide.

It is being projected overall that mergers and acquisitions are the reason behind the trend of consolidation. Restrictions and regulations from the government and the increase of market saturation has been making the opportunity in the online gaming market highly competitive for companies. This has made it even more of a challenge for small companies to be successful int eh industry.

Market research also showed that there are two areas where smaller companies could expand into for the online gaming market. One of those markets is based on the increase world wide of personal electronics usage. Most people have more than one device that they use. In addition to their personal computer most there has been an increase in the purchase of smartphones, tablets, and electronic readers.

Most of the users of these devices are between the ages of 18 and 49. The amount of people around the globe that have access to these technologies has been increasing. Gaming technologies that support these types of devices is one avenue that smaller companies may try to use to take advantage of the surging gaming market. Another option would be for the development of gaming using virtual reality devices.

Countries that create an online gaming market have been having much success. Especially in the United States. One emerging issue in the online gaming market in the United States is that each individual state has their own online gaming regulation.

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