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Indian Casinos

UNITED STATES

There are 486 Indian gaming operations in the United States. These are owned by 244 of the nation's 565 federally-recognized tribes and operate in 28 of the 50 states.  The annual revenue from all Indian gaming is nearing $30 billion and represents 43% of all casino gaming revenue in the U.S.
(Source: National Indian Gaming Commission)

CANADA

For information about First Nation casinos, please visit our Canada Casinos section.

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Indian Casino Locations

Find Indian casino locations, maps, gaming information, bingo, restaurants, hotel room accommodations and visitor guides.

Start a search by selecting a state on the map. For information about First Nation casinos in Canada, click here.

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News


Indian Casino Facts

  • Indian casino revenue neared $30 billion in 2015.

  • 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 provides 612,000 jobs nationwide (both direct & indirect jobs).

  • Indian gaming pays $9 billion in taxes and revenue sharing payments to federal, state, and local governments.

  • The top 5 states for Indian casino revenue:
    Source: Casino City's Indian Gaming Report 2015

    1. California: $7 billion
    2. Oklahoma: $3.77 billion
    3. Florida: $2.33 billion
    4. Washington: $2.32 billion
    5. Arizona: $1.8 billion
Source: National Indian Gaming Commission www.nigc.gov

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.
(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 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.
(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.


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 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.

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.
    http://www.nigc.gov
     
  • 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.
    http://www.doi.gov/bia/
     
  • 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.
    http://indian.senate.gov
     
  • 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.
    http://www.indiangaming.org
     

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