WASHINGTON - It’s good news for Indian gaming across the country to the tune of $32.4 billion, an increase of 3.9 percent over 2016.
The National Indian Gaming Commission released the gross gaming revenue figures for fiscal year 2017 Tuesday at their K Street offices.
The annual announcement is based on independent audit reports from 492 Indian gaming establishments operated by 246 gaming tribes, in 29 states and is conducted in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Chairman Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause, and Associate Commissioner Sequoyah Simermeyer of the National Indian Gaming Commission held a press conference on June 26 to announce the Indian gaming industry’s 2017 revenues.
Chairman Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, told Indian Country Today about the success of tribal gaming.
“The theme of our script today is learning about the insides of thirty years of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Acts and key policy principles that lead to the success of Indian gaming. IGRA is in place to facilitate this gaming on Indian lands and it has a built-in flexibility for gaming innovations and the embracing of new technologies,” said Chaudhuri.
During the press conference Chaudhuri, Isom-Clause, and Simermeyer went over the national gaming revenues to include region specific percentages across the nation, only Rapid City showed a -2.7 percent lack of growth, but the numbers are up from the region’s previous year at -8.9 percent.
“All of Indian Country has worked very hard to maintain a flourishing and constantly growing gaming industry,” said Chaudhuri at the conference. “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.”
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission to support tribal self-sufficiency and the integrity of Indian gaming.
The NIGC has developed four initiatives to support its mission including
(1) To protect against anything that amounts to gamesmanship on the backs of tribes.
(2) To stay ahead of the technology curve.
(3) Rural outreach
(4) To maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with its tribal regulatory partners.
The NIGC oversees the efficient regulation of 506 gaming establishments operated by 244 tribes across 29 states.
The Commission's dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the growing $31.2 billion Indian gaming industry.
Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling