Southern University College of Business E-Journal


In the late 1970s, several Indian tribes established bingo operations to raise revenues to fund tribal governments. In 1987, in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld one of the most significant turning points for tribal governments: the legal right of Native American tribes to offer gaming on reservation lands, free of state interference. By 2001, gaming had become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. tourism industry. As of 2008, Indian gaming revenues topped $26.7 billion. The last few years have seen tremendous growth in the gaming industry, both in the number of new facilities opening and in gross revenues those facilities are earning. As of 2018, Indian gaming revenues topped $33.7 billion, with 252 tribal governments conducting multiple gaming operations, for an average revenue growth per year of 2.4 percent. However, 2020, because of COVID 2019, has seen an overall economic downturn. The tribal gaming industry will continue to lead the way on gaming technology and innovation. Emerging platforms will allow tribes to increase their market base. In fact, Native American gaming is considered one of the top industries in this country. Indian gaming is no longer in its infancy. As such, Indian tribes will face new competition and additional challenges as state-sanctioned casinos continue to spread. Given that gambling is an accepted form of entertainment, it is likely that tribal gaming will continue to be an important part of the American economy.