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Study Shows Impact on Arizona From Indian Gaming

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January 15, 2013

The Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA) announces publication of an economic impact study on the benefits of Indian gaming for Arizona. The study was done by the Taylor Policy Group, Inc. Jonathon B. Taylor, a Florida-based economic consultant, is a recognized expert on the impacts of Indian gaming.

The study verified that Indian gaming in Arizona directly employs more than 15,000 people, which, if tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that tallies employment by job type, would rank it above Mining and Logging. When indirect jobs are added, that number exceeds 22,000.

The study also identified the economic impact of these jobs, which a conservative estimate puts at nearly $1 billion of value added in 2011. Value added comprises labor income, property income and indirect business taxes. Since most reservations in the state are located in rural areas, the study notes that casinos deliver jobs where they are most needed.

"Indian gaming contributes directly to rural economic development in Arizona," said Valerie Spicer, Executive Director AIGA. "It produces jobs, attracts tourism and brings investment to areas that have historically had depressed economies."

The study concluded that tribal gaming has a significant multiplier effect since casinos purchase goods off reservations. "Construction and operations for an Indian casino translate very quickly into purchases and hires from the broader Arizona economy. Because tribes do not have diverse economies capable of supplying the necessary electricity, carpeting, restaurant supplies, advertising or poker chips, they have to turn to the state economy for goods, services and labor," said Taylor.

The study also quantified the benefits to Arizona tribes and consequently to all Arizonans. Taylor said, "Because of gaming, tribal governments are now able to begin to address chronic reservation deficits in education, health, housing, safety, employment and crime. As casino profits close these longstanding gaps, then American Indian capital grows to the lasting benefit of the entire Arizona economy."

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