|A report from economics research and strategy firm InteCap concludes that Indian gaming benefits not only the tribes themselves, but also the total US economy. The report was presented last week at the National Indian Gaming Association Trade Show in San Diego by the author, Dr. Alan Meister.|
The study, “The Economic Impact of Indian Gaming in the United States” shows that Indian gaming fadcilities added over $32 billion to the US economy in 2001, creating over 490,000 gaming and non-gaming jobs and paying over $12.4 billion in wages. For the Indian tribes, the 359 gaming facilities generated $13 billion in revenues, employing 298,000 people and paying $5.5 billion in wages. 'The total contribution made by Indian gaming to the whole U.S. economy is quite significant,' said Dr. Meister. 'In addition to the direct gaming revenues benefiting the tribes, all the related jobs and businesses and federal, state and local tax revenues benefited the whole country.'
This is the first study of its kind, and its conclusions are likely to boost efforts already underway in at least 23 states to expand both Indian and non-Indian gaming ventures. The study did not address social issues, although under the US Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988, revenues from Indian gaming must be used to provide for the general welfare of the tribes, who are America's poorest ethnic group.