Tribal Nations Face Most Severe Crisis in Decades as the Coronavirus Closes Casinos
At the start of 2020, there were 574 federally recognized tribes in the United States. A little under half of those tribes operate casinos, but many that do operate multiple properties. At present there are more than 500 tribal casinos of varying types in the US. In 1988 Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act which kept tribal sovereignty to create casino-like halls, but the states and Natives must be in Tribal-State compacts and the federal government has the power to regulate the gaming. These compacts have been used by state officials to confiscate Native casino revenue which serves as a "special" tax on Native reservations. Essentially, the tribes still have "exclusive right" to all classes of gaming except when states do not accept that class or it clashes with federal law. IGRA requires that tribes seeking to make per-capita payments submit a revenue allocation plan to the Department of the Interior for approval.
When Muscogee Creek Nation, the nation's fourth-largest tribe, closed its casinos six weeks ago, that suddenly halted a revenue stream that provided school clothes for children, support for the elderly and health care for thousands. There are over 400 Indian gaming establishments operating in the U.S. in 2015, ranging from roadside bingo halls to large resort casinos. First, the data were cross-sectional, so we do not know whether casino ownership preceded community health-related resources, and we cannot infer that any associations are causal. Similarly, unmeasured confounders could have influenced both the development of a casino and the development of health-related community resources. However, we controlled for community-level urbanicity and tribe size, both of which could influence casino ownership and community resources.
Tribal Casinos Players Clubs
This doesn’t mean that tribal casinos are all tighter than casinos on the Strip. Because each casino can follow different rules, most experiences are purely anecdotal. In general, though, it appears that the table games are more generous, while slots are a bit tighter at Indian casinos. The closure of hundreds of tribal casinos in response to the coronavirus outbreak is eviscerating the revenues many Native American nations use to provide basic services. They use their gaming profits to improve life for their members and reservations, while the surrounding communities benefit through significant employment, tourism, and tax revenues.
Class II gaming also includes non-banked card games, that is, games that are played exclusively against other players rather than against the house or a player acting as a bank. The Act specifically excludes slot machines or electronic facsimiles of any game of chance from the definition of class II games. Under the leadership of Howard Tommie, the Seminole Tribe of Florida built a large high-stakes bingo building on their reservation near Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The tribe planned for the bingo hall to be open six days a week, contrary to Florida state law which only allows two days a week for bingo halls to be open, as well as going over the maximum limit of $100 jackpots.
Turning Stone Casino
But some slot machine players have identified earning complimentary gifts as their primary gambling goal. It’s about earning comps, which means players need a rewards program with which they can work. On the other hand, the host of a casino operated by a major corporation can have 900 patrons they’re trying to get to know on a personal level. An extensive casino rewards program of a major casino operator has difficulty being personal. However, you can potentially earn travel comps from them to any of their other properties.
Who is the most successful Native American?
- Red Cloud.
- Sitting Bull.
- Crazy Horse. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images.
- Geronimo. Photo: Library of Congress/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images.
- Chief Joseph. Photo: Heritage Art/Heritage Images via Getty Images.
- Wilma Mankiller. Photo: Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images.