Title

Assessing the Impact of Indian Gaming on American Indian Nations: Is the House Winning?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2013

Abstract

Objective. The objective of this article is to examine the impact of Indian gaming on reservation conditions in the contiguous American states following passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. Methods. Utilizing 1990 and 2000 Census data for 330 Indian nations, a pretest/posttest design permits a comparison of nongaming nations to three different types of gaming nations on eight economic measures, while controlling for multiple tribal characteristics and considering the effects of certain state contextual factors confronting nations due to location. Results. The analysis reveals (1) that the overall impact of gaming, while generally positive, is not as extensive after controlling for certain tribal features, (2) that there are differential effects evident across the three types of gaming nations, and (3) that the state context makes a difference in influencing the relationship between gaming and reservation conditions. The most substantial impacts are for a small subset of nations with Class III gaming and making per capita payments to their members in larger, wealthier states prohibiting non-Indian casinos. Conclusion. These results challenge some of the core assumptions about Indian gaming radically changing the poor economic conditions endemic to Indian country.