Thesis Statement: Indian gaming has had a positive effect on Native Americans nationwide by allowing tribes to fund essential government services, create jobs and rebuild native communities.

Throughout the 19th century Native Americans solve their traditional livelihoods destroyed through forced removal and land theft by the United States. Indian tribes turn to gaming to generate revenue in the 1960s and early 1970s. In 1988 the Indian gaming regulatory act affirmed tribal governments authority to use Indian gaming “to promote tribal economic development, tribal self sufficiency and strong tribal government.” (Indian Gaming Regulatory Act 25 USC. secs 2701) 237 tribes operate 442 Indian gaming facilities according to an NIGA, The National Indian Gaming Association. Indian gaming has had a significant positive effect on Native Americans nationwide by allowing tribes to fund essential government services, create jobs and rebuild native communities.

Funding Essential Government Services

in 2009, tribal governments generated 26.2 billion in gross revenue from Indian gaming (NIGA 2009) another 3.2 billion in gross revenue was created from related hospitality and entertainment services including resorts, hotels, restaurants, golf and entertainment complexes (NIGA 2009). The national Indian Gaming Association’s most recent numbers show that the revenue from gaming is used for economic development, healthcare, police and fire protection, infrastructure and housing.


Creating Jobs

“Tribes use Indian gaming revenue as a catalyst to spur economic growth “ (NIGA 2009). With the influx of money from gaming tribal governments have the money to promote native communities and create opportunities for their members. In 2009 628,000 jobs nationwide were created for American Indians from tribal gaming (NIGA 2009). Some jobs are created directly in the casinos or seceded gaming centers but thousands of other jobs are created and associated industries. The Seminole tribe of Florida has 17,000 of its tribe members employed in gaming or in related tribal enterprises.

Rebuilding Native Communities

the revenue from Indian gaming has allowed native tribes across America to build schools, hospitals and community centers on reservations and in the community. In 2009 alone schools were built in Mille Lacs Band Minnesota, Turtle Oneida, and a new K-12 school that reflects the culture of the Mescalero Apache Indians. The Pueblo of Santa Anna in New Mexico built a water system for the Yankton Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. “Tribal governments also use gaming revenues to provide essential services, such as education, healthcare, police and fire protection to all tribal members from toddlers in daycare to grandmother’s in elder care programs” according to a 2009 NIGA report. The Suquamish tribe in Washington has built a 12,000 ft.² schoolhouse and daycare center in Suquamish off Totten Road. The center offers everything from an early learning center for children to a head start class. The center teaches native Suquamish culture including drum making in the native language Lushootseed.