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)
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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
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 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:
The IGRA divides gaming into three classes:
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