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.
|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.
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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