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Native Gaming Resources

This page contains links to tribal gaming and economic development enterprises resources.

The National Indian Gaming Commission is the federal agency responsible for regulating gaming on Indian lands. The Commission (NIGC) was created in 1988, when Congress enacted the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). NIGA operates as a clearinghouse and educational, legislative and public policy resource for tribes, policymakers, and the public on Indian gaming issues and tribal community development. The site includes sections on the myths and facts of tribal gaming, statistics on economic impact of Indian gaming, gaming proceeds, Indian community development, regulations, state involvement through compacting, and background information.

American Indian Gambling and Casino Information Center is the web page of the National Indian Gaming Association. The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is an organization of over 150 sovereign Indian Nations as well as other non-voting associate members interested in the preservation of the sovereignty and protection of the economic rights in tribal gaming and economic development enterprises.

Native American Gaming Resources on the Internet provides information on Native American gaming resources on the Internet, including extensive links to specific Indian Gaming and Indian Casino web sites.

California Indian Gaming News contains extensive links to news articles from newspapers across the country concerning Indian gaming and related issues. It is maintained by Victor Rocha of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Temecula, California.

LEGI\X Company is an advocacy and lobbing group with up to date news on Indian gaming, Housing, General, Environmental and other issues.

Indianz has recently added a Indian Gaming News section to their excellent web site.

Casino Law has a section devoted to issues and news concerning Indian Gaming.

California Nations Indian Gaming Association is the site of the California Nevada Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) which provides information on California and Nevada Indian gaming issues.

Cornell Law School has a full text version of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Established in 1985, the National Indian Gaming Association is a non-profit organization of 168 Indian Nations. The common commitment and purpose of NIGA is to advance the lives of Indian peoples ­ economically, socially and politically. Among other information, their web site has an excellent section on Legislative Alerts, Newsletter, NIGA Fact Sheet.

Indian Gaming Facts from the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA)


  • Total number of federally-recognized Indian Tribes: 562
  • Number of Tribal Governments engaged in gaming (Class II or Class III): 224
  • Number of Tribal Governmental gaming operations: 354 (several Tribes operate more than one facility)
  • Number of states with Tribal Governmental gaming: (Class II or Class III) 28
  • Number of Tribal-State gaming compacts: 249


  • Tribal Governmental gaming revenue in 2002: $14.5 billion (21% of total gaming industry)
  • Many Tribes operate gaming facilities primarily to generate employment


  • Total number of jobs: 400,000
  • National percentage of Indian to non-Indian employees: 75% non-Indian, 25% Indian
  • In areas of high unemployment like North and South Dakota, 80% of Tribal governmental gaming employees are Indian.


  • The IGRA requires that land taken into trust status must 1) benefit the Tribe, 2) NOT be detrimental to the surrounding community and 3) be approved by the State Governor
  • Only 23 total land-into-trust acquisitions since 1988 for gaming purposes.
  • Only 3 off-reservation land-into-trust acquisitions since 1988 (Only 78 total acres)

Federal Recognition

  • Only 15 Tribes have received Federal Recognition through the "Federal Acknowledgement Process" since 1978
  • Only one of those Tribes has gaming
  • 16 petitions for Recognition have been denied since 1978

Pathological Gambling

  • National prevalence rate of 0.8 percent for lifetime pathological gambling
  • Compare lifetime figures for:
    • Alcohol dependence - 13.8 percent
    • Drug dependence - 6.2 percent
    • Major depression - 6.4 percent
  • Indian Tribes have model programs for problem gamblers. In many areas, like Arizona, North Dakota and Connecticut, Indian Tribes are the primary funding source for such programs

Use of Net Revenues

Revenues from Tribal Governmental gaming must be used in five specific areas
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2710 [Sec. 11]), net revenues from any tribal gaming are not to be used for purposes other than-

  • To fund Tribal Government operations or programs;
  • To provide for the general welfare of the Indian tribe and its members;
  • To promote Tribal economic development;
  • To donate to charitable organizations; or
  • To help fund operations of local government agencies.

Per Capita Payements

  • Three-fourths of gaming Tribes devote all of their revenue to Tribal governmental services, economic and community development, to neighboring communities and to charitable purposes and do not give out per capita payments
  • Tribal Government services, Economic and Community development, general tribal welfare, charitable donations and any requirements for aid to Local governments must be provided for before a Tribe can file for a "Revenue Allocation Plan"
  • The Secretary of Interior must approve any per capita payments as part of a "Revenue Allocation Plan"
  • Only about one-fourth of Tribes engaged in gaming distribute per capita payments to tribal members (73 Tribes)
  • Tribal members receiving per capita payments PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAX on these payments


  • Tribal Governmental gaming is regulated on three levels.
  • Indian Nations are primary regulators of Indian gaming. Under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), Tribes establish the basic regulatory framework for Indian gaming.
  • State regulation may be included in Tribal/State compacts for Class III gaming.
  • Federal agencies enforce laws relating to Indian gaming, including the National Indian Gaming Commission, the Interior Department, The Justice Department, FBI, IRS, Secret Service and the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

Federal law makes it a crime punishable by up to ten years in prison to steal, cheat, or embezzle from an Indian gaming operation, and that law is enforced by the FBI 18 USC ss. 1163.


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