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500 Nations Casino

20 years under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act 1988

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October 12, 2008

When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was signed more than 20 years ago, it was hard to predict the future results. Revenues from tribal casinos earn earn money than those in Las Vegas and Atlantic City combined. The passing of this act changed the face of gaming in this country.

One of the reasons for the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was to protect Nevada casinos from competition. However, business for their casinos has dropped as people stay closer to home instead of to travel.

In the 1987 Supreme Court case, California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians it was ruled that federally recognized tribes could operate gaming business without state regulation. This made other states fearful of not being able to regulate gaming that could now occur. The push then began for Congress to pass a law that would encourage negotiations between the states and the tribes and set regulations on what would be allowed.

Then, in 1996 in the Supreme Court case Seminole Tribe v. Florida ruled that tribes could not sue states refusing to negotiate.
Regardless, tribes from across the country fight any amendments to the regulatory act. The act has helped many of the tribes to find economic success to help their people and their communities.


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