NIGA Applauds Tribal Government Gaming as the Industry Continues to Show Revenue Growth

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June 26, 2018

Washington, D.C. – June 26, 2018 – The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) joined the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) at their press conference today as the NIGC released the Fiscal Year 2017 Gross Gaming Revenues (GGR).

NIGC Chairman Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause, and Associate Commissioner Sequoyah Simmermeyer announced that Indian Gaming Revenues increased by 3.9% over 2016, totaling $32.4 billion.

National Indian Gaming Association Chairman, Ernie Stevens, Jr., applauded the news and said, “The hard work, dedication, and compassion of those throughout Indian country committed to advancing economic self-determination through gaming, is reflected in today’s revenue numbers demonstrating the continued success and growth of our tribal government gaming industry.”

The FY 2017 revenues are calculated from the independently audited financial statements of 494 gaming operations owned and operated by the 242 federally recognized Tribes engaged in gaming. It represents revenue earnings before salaries, tribal-state compacts, and operating expenses.

The consistent growth of the Indian gaming industry year after year, even through the Great Recession of 2008, demonstrates how well tribes run and regulate their gaming operations. By staying true to its Congressional mandate and supporting Tribal Regulatory agencies, the NIGC helped unleash the Indian gaming industry’s entrepreneurial spirit and creativity which flourished into a present day $34 billion industry, one of the largest in the United States.

IGRA’s preservation of Tribes as the primary regulators and beneficiaries of their operations has allowed for tremendous innovation in all of the gambling industry. For example:

  • Recognition and utilization of Congress’s stated intent and IGRA’s built-in flexibility to promote technological innovation, such as the use of electronic aids in class II gaming;
  • Faithful application of the law that accounts for the unique histories and land-bases of Tribes and IGRA’s built-in foresight to expand economic opportunity to Tribes without a land base or Tribes that were not even federally recognized at the time of IGRA’s passage;
  • And finally, a respect for the enduring nation to nation relationship between tribes and the federal government, a relationship that predates, and is enshrined in, the U.S. Constitution.

    “All of Indian Country has worked very hard to maintain a flourishing and constantly growing gaming industry,” said the Chair of the NIGC, Jonodev O. Chaudhuri. “The successes of Indian gaming in the 30 years since IGRA prove that the foundational principles of federal Indian law should remain at the forefront of any future public policy discussions,” he said.

For more detailed data and information such as region-specific information refer to the media center tab under the Public Affairs division on the National Indian Gaming Commission website.