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Our Goal is to help you provide the right products and services for long term success for your operations.Indian Casino Facts
- Gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities nationwide grew 2.0% in 2012 to approximately $28.1 billion.
- This was the third straight year of growth, putting gaming revenue at an all-time high.
- In 2012, there were 243 Native American tribes operating over
346,000 gaming machines and 7,700 table games in 468 gaming facilities
across 28 states.
- The top 2 states generated approximately 38% of total gaming
revenue at Indian gaming facilities; the top 5 states generated about
60%; and the top 10 states generated 86%.
- Indian gaming facilities, including non-gaming operations,
directly and indirectly generated approximately $91 billion in output,
679,000 jobs, $30 billion in wages, and $9 billion in taxes and revenue
sharing payments to federal, state, and local governments.
- Indian gaming grew at a slower pace than other casino gaming
segments. The commercial casino and racino segments grew 4% and 8%,
- Indian gaming generated approximately 43% of all U.S. casino gaming revenue in 2012.
Source: Casino City Press -
Brief History about Indian Casinos
In the very early 1970s, Russell and Helen Bryan, a married Chippewa couple living in a mobile home on Indian lands in northern Minnesota, received a property tax bill from the local county, Itasca County. The Bryans had never received a property tax bill from the county before. Not certain what to do, but unwilling to pay it, they took the tax notice to local legal aid attorneys at Leech Lake Legal Services, who brought suit to challenge the tax in the state courts. The Bryans lost their case in the state district court, and they lost again on appeal in a unanimous decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Their last chance was to seek review in the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court granted review, and in a sweeping and unanimous decision authored by Justice Brennan, the Supreme Court held not only that states do not have authority to tax Indians on Indian reservations, but that they also lack the authority to regulate Indian activities by Indians on Indian reservations. As Gaming Law Professor Kevin K. Washburn has explained, the stage was now set for Indian gaming. Within a few short years, enterprising Indians and tribes began to operate Indian bingo operations in numerous different locations around the United States.
Under the leadership of Howard Tommie, the Seminole Tribe of Florida built a large high-stakes bingo building on their reservation near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The tribe planned for the bingo hall to be open six days a week, contrary to Florida state law which only allows two days a week for bingo halls to be open, as well as going over the maximum limit of $100 jackpots. The law was enacted from the charity bingo limits set by Catholic Churches. The sheriff of Broward County, where the Indian reservation lies, made arrests the minute the bingo hall opened, and the tribe sued the county (Seminole Tribe v. Butterworth), stating that Indian tribes have sovereignty rights that are protected by the federal government from interference by state government. A District court ruled in favor of the Indians, citing Chief Justice John Marshall in Worcester v. Georgia. Here began the legal war of Indian gaming with a win for the Seminoles.
Controversy arose when Indians began putting private casinos, bingo rooms, and lotteries on reservation lands and began setting gaming prizes which were above the maximum legal limit of the state. The Indians argued for sovereignty over their reservations to make them immune from state laws such as Public Law 280, which granted states to have criminal jurisdiction over Indian reservations. States were afraid that Indians would have a significant competitive edge over other gambling places in the state which were regulated, which would thus generate a vast amount of income for tribes.
In the late 1970s and continuing into the next decade, the delicate question concerning the legality of tribal gaming and immunity from state law hovered over the Supreme Court. The Court addressed the potential gambling had for organized crime through the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970. A report by the Department of Justice presented to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs on March 18, 1992 concluded that through several years of FBI investigation, that organized crime had failed to infiltrate Indian gaming and that there was no link between criminal activity in Indian gaming and organized crime
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.
(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.
(California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians)
1988 - Indian Gaming Regulatory ActThe 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.
IGRA divides gaming into three classes:
Class I Gaming
Class II Gaming
- Defined as "traditional tribal gaming and social gaming" with minimal prizes.
- There is no regulation outside of the tribal government.
- Defined as gambling played exclusively against other players and not the house.
- Examples are bingo, poker, and other “non-banked” card games.
- These games are permitted on Indian land as long as they are legal elsewhere in the state.
Class III Gaming
- Defined as gambling played against the casino.
- Includes slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette, and "all forms of gaming that are not class I gaming or class II gaming."
- Requires a compact with the state.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
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.
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.
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.
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.