NIGA 2019 Annual Report Digital Final


The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is a tax exempt corporation under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(6). Although ruled tax exempt, this does not make NIGA a “charity” and thus contributions to the organization are not always deductible by the donor as a charitable contribution for federal Income Tax purposes. NIGA was founded in 1985 and incorporated in the District of Columbia in 1993.

MISSION STATEMENT The mission of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is to protect and preserve the general welfare of the Tribes striving for self-sufficiency through gaming enterprises in Indian Country. To fulfill its mission, NIGA works with the federal government and Congress to develop sound policies and practices and to provide technical assistance and advocacy on gaming related issues. In addition, NIGA seeks to maintain and protect Indian sovereign governmental authority in Indian Country.



Chairman’s Report


Vice Chairman’s Report


Treasurer’s Report


Secretary’s Report


Executive Director’s Report


Board of Directors 2018


Staff Matrix 2018


Nationwide Impacts of Indian Gaming




T his past year marked milestones, opportunities, and challenges for the Indian gaming industry and all of Indian Country. With all that took place, one vivid image stands out: the January 3, 2019 swearing-in ceremony of not one but two Native American women to serve in the United States House of Representatives. These two additional Native voices in Congress, working to educate federal policymakers from within, shattered a more than two-century barrier that our entire Nation celebrated. However, the celebration of this historic landmark was tempered by the fact that it took place in the midst of federal government shutdown that cost the United States economy from $6 – $10 billion and took a toll many times worse on Native communities. Funding for programs and services administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and other federal agencies subject to the shutdown represent the Government’s most basic attempts to meet these solemn obligations. With little regard to these promises, the Administration and Congress mindlessly waded into a five-week shutdown that endangered lives and property on tribal lands, burdening those most in need. NIGA was surprised that it went to the level that it did, and as a result, we monitored its impacts very closely. I canceled all other activities on my calendar and returned back to Washington, DC to elevate the level of the discussion, both on the Hill and throughout Indian Country. NIGA is a powerful voice in Washington, DC. But we are many times stronger when the leadership of our Tribes weigh in, and in this case, that is what made the difference. I am proud to report that many of NIGA’s Member Tribes took steps not only to care for themselves but also reached out to the communities around them. In the true sense of our Native traditions, we extend ourselves in whatever way we can to share our resources and to make sure that the most basic needs of the people are met. Whether it is helping others during a government shutdown, reaching out to communities devastated by natural disasters, or giving individuals and communities a hand up by aiding in economic development efforts throughout the Nation—Indian gaming has been there for American families and rural communities.


This year the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) focused on critically important policy issues: • Sports Betting: Supreme Court’s Murphy Decision • Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act • Protect and Restore Indian Lands • Attacks on Tribal Sovereignty IGRA Milestone: 30 Years Strong October 16, 2018 marked the thirty-year anniversary of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. NIGA participated in a commemorative celebration hosted by the National Indian Gaming Commission. While Native Nations established contemporary Indian gaming more than a decade prior to IGRA, the milestone offered an opportunity for reflection on our industry. In thirty years, Indian gaming operations have responsibly grown into a $32.4 billion industry. First and foremost, Indian gaming is an exercise of tribal government self-determination. Revenues generated from Indian gaming continue to rebuild more than 240 Native communities throughout Indian Country. Many Indian gaming operations represent the foundation of tribal government economies that are diversifying into non-gaming enterprises and encouraging a new generation of Native entrepreneurs. Indian gaming is job creation, seamless, comprehensive regulation, and giving back to our brother and sister tribal governments and our neighbors. But most of all, Indian gaming is about our future: education of our Native youth, fueled by Indian gaming, is providing a path forward for the next seven generations. We all know that more must be done. Far too many tribal communities continue to suffer the devastating impacts of the past failed federal policies. We recognize that there is so much more to do and that has to be our priority. Working together, we will build on the energy you all bring to this Convention and continue our work with Congress and the Administration to strengthen our Industry, protect and preserve tribal sovereignty, and expand the benefits of Indian gaming to all of Indian Country. Sports Betting: PASPA Ruled Unconstitutional On May 13, 2018—less than one month after NIGA’s 2018 Annual Meeting—the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in NCAA v. Murphy, holding that the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is unconstitutional. Importantly for Indian Country, the Court ruled the entire text of PASPA unconstitutional: “[N]o provision of PASPA is severable from the provision directly at issue in these cases….” The entire law was voided—including several references to Indian tribes and IGRA within the Act. As a result, state governments have started debates to determine whether to legalize sports betting within their borders and several tribal governments have made the decision to add sports betting as an offering to their existing operations pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Many other tribal governments continue to examine the potential opportunities and challenges posed by legal sports betting, including economic and business aspects, potential regulatory structure needed to maintain the integrity of the games and the need for responsible sports gambling. NIGA offered a series of opportunities for our Tribes to learn more about Sports Betting at our Mid-Year Conference and throughout the year. While no bill has been introduced in the 116th Congress to regulate or provide oversight of sports betting, many observers expect the sports betting debate to turn to Congress at some point in the near future. To prepare for the coming debate, NIGA established our Sports Betting Task Force in 2017 to share information and best practices with our Member Tribes. The Task Force developed and NIGA’s Member Tribes adopted a Sports Betting


Resolution at the 2018 Tradeshow & Convention. The Resolution outlines policy principles for sports betting legislation. These principles include: • Federal policy must respect the constitutionally affirmed status of Indian tribes as governments with authority to regulate and operate gaming; • Tribal government Sports Betting revenues shall not be subject to taxation; • Customers may access tribal government Sports Betting sites as long as Sports Betting is legal where the customer is located; • Tribal rights under the IGRA and existing tribal-state gaming compacts must be protected; • IGRA should not be opened up for amendments; • Tribal governments must receive a positive economic benefit in any federal or state Sports Betting legalization proposals; • Indian tribes possess the inherent right to opt in to a federal regulatory scheme to ensure broad-based access to markets; • Tribal governments acknowledge the integrity and protection of the game and patron protections for responsible gaming are of the utmost importance; and • Mobile, on-line or internet sports gaming must adhere to these principles The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act NIGA and our Member Tribes again prioritized advancement of legislation to restore respect for the status of Indian tribes as governments for purposes of the National Labor Relations Act. The House of Representatives advanced the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, which would accomplish this goal, early in January of 2018. However, the effort fell five votes short of the 60 vote-threshold needed in the U.S. Senate. The effort to amend the National Labor Relations Act remains solely about respect for tribal sovereignty and the U.S. Constitution’s acknowledgement of Indian tribes as separate forms of governments within our federalist system. Tribal governments nationwide have adopted tribal labor laws to protect workers in Indian Country and have entered into dozens of agreements with unions and labor organization groups that respect tribal sovereignty and comply with tribal government laws. As we have stated several times over, America was built by many members of American Indian Tribes that were also members of Labor Unions. We have a long history supporting labor initiatives and we truly believe that experience has led us to the development of a strong system within our Tribal Governments that protects our employees far more than that of the unions. That is our responsibility as government officials. It is ironic that our Tribal Governments have to stand up against something as basic as this, as we look out for our employment base as much as any other government or business entity. NIGA and our Member Tribes devoted significant effort to passage of the TLSA in the 115th Congress. We will continue to educate all Members of the 116th Congress about the need to respect Indian tribes as governments for all purposes of federal law, continue advocate for the passage of the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act, and work on strategy to achieve our goal in the coming year.


Protecting and Restoring Indian Homelands Federal policies throughout the 1800s and mid-1900s resulted in the takings of hundreds of millions of acres of tribal government homelands. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 sought to reverse the impacts of these failed policies by authorizing the Interior Department to restore Indian lands into trust. While the process is costly, and cumbersome, it has slowly worked to restore a small measure of Native homelands to tribal government control. (However, many acres of Indian lands continued to move out of protected trust status every year). On October 4, 2017, the Interior Department issued a proposed rule to alter the land to trust regulations that implement the IRA. The Interior Department’s initial Proposal would have made it harder to restore tribal homelands by shifting the burden on tribes to prove benefits of the acquisition and lack of adverse impacts on local governments. The proposal placed a focus on “off-reservation” and gaming land to trust applications. The initial proposal drew swift and sharp reactions from Indian Country for its focus on Indian gaming, the lack of consultation, and the increased weight that would be provided to county governments in trust land decisions. The Interior Department held seven consultations from January to April of 2018 and accepted comments on a revised list of questions through July 2, 2018. It is nearly a year since the comment period has closed, and it seems that the proposal may be shelved for the time being. In addition, on June 20, 2018, the Interior Department withdrew a January 13, 2017 M-Opinion that opened the door for Alaska Native tribes and villages to participate in the IRA land to trust process. Interior qualified the withdrawal as “pending further review and consultation because [the 2017] M-Opinion fails to fully discuss the possible implications of legislation enacted after ANCSA upon the Secretary’s authority to take land into trust in Alaska.” Interior scheduled a series of consultations on this matter and the issue is still pending. And finally, on September 7, 2018, the Interior Department, acting pursuant to a District Court’s remand, ruled that “the (Mashpee) Tribe does not satisfy the ‘under Federal jurisdiction’ requirement of the [IRA’s] first definition of ‘Indian,’ and does not satisfy such requirement with respect to the second definition. If upheld and implemented, the Interior Department’s decision would mark the first time since the Termination Era that either Congress or the Executive Branch has taken Indian lands out of trust. Direct Attacks on Tribal Sovereignty This past year also brought direct attacks on the status of Indian tribes as governments, and with it, the federal government’s treaty and trust obligations to Indian Country. These attacks came in the form of legal challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act and the protection of Medicaid funding to Native Americans. In both cases, opponents to ICWA and exemptions to preserve Medicaid for Indian health care funding based their legal claims on the misguided and long-overruled theory that the federal law and potential federal exemption would be race- based and thus violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause. This legal argument ignores decades of Supreme Court precedent. In 1974, the Court in Morton v. Mancari held that federal policies and actions directed at Native Americans “is not directed towards a ‘racial’ group of ‘Indians’; instead it applies to members of ‘federally recognized tribes’…. In this sense, the preference is political, rather than racial in nature”—and thus does not violate the Constitution’s equal protection clause. With regard to the CMS issue, NIGA worked with tribal leaders in calling on Members of Congress to urge the Administration to rescind the misguided position and work to protect funding for Indian health care. Bipartisan letters were sent from champions of Indian Country from U.S. House and Senate to the Trump Administration, urging CMS to reverse its position. CMS has since revised its legal claims, but we continue to closely watch this


issue as Native American Medicaid claims help provide more than $800 million annually to offset drastic shortfalls in Indian health care coverage. The legal challenge to ICWA is more immediate. The case, which began as Brakeen v. Zinke (now Brakeen v. Bernhardt ) originated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. On October 4, 2018, Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that ICWA was unconstitutionally based on race. To reach this decision, the Judge ignored decades of federal court precedent that affirmed inherent tribal sovereignty and the government-to-government relationship between tribal nations and the United States as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, countless federal laws, and treaties between tribal nations and the U.S. government. On March 13, 2019, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the appeal to Judge O’Connor’s misguided decision. The Trump Administration defended ICWA before the Fifth Circuit, joined by dozens of tribal governments and Native organizations in support of ICWA—urging reversal of the decision below. Congress enacted ICWA in 1978 to put a stop to concerted efforts by state child welfare and private adoption agencies to separate Native children from their families. (Note: these concerted efforts came nearly a century after the United States, through the policy of forced Assimilation, sanctioned the taking of Native children from their homes and forcing them into government and religious boarding schools.) The Act is needed now more than ever to ensure that Native children have the opportunity to grow up rooted in their cultures, language and traditions. Historic 2018 Midterm Election Election Day, November 6, 2018, will be remembered as a historic night for Indian Country. Since the First United States Congress convened on March 4, 1789, more than 12,000 individuals have served as Representatives, Senators or both. However, no Member of Congress has been a Native American woman. That changed on January 3, 2019, when two Native women, Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna) and Sharice Davids (Ho Chunk Nation) made history as they were sworn in to serve in the 116th Congress. They join Rep. Tom Cole (Chickasaw Nation / R-OK) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (Cherokee Nation / R-OK) to make up the largest ever Indian Country delegation in Congress. While Representatives Haaland and Davids broke a huge barrier in the U.S. House of Representatives, Native candidates also made history in state races across the country. Oklahoma voters elected Kevin Stitt (R-Cherokee Nation) as the nation’s first Native state governor. Peggy Flanagan (DFL-White Earth Band of Ojibwe) was voted in as Minnesota’s Lieutenant Governor—the first Native woman elected to a state executive office. All told, at least 58 Native Americans were elected to state legislatures in the 2018 midterms. These elected leaders will not only help educate their colleague and the general public about the governmental status of Indian tribes and the solemn treaty and trust obligations to Indian Country, but in developing solutions and building coalitions to further advance the mission to protect and preserve tribal sovereignty and Indian self- determination. This is the beginning of a new and exciting era for Indian Country!


Ongoing Success of Tribal Government Gaming into the Future Today, Tribal Government Gaming professionals are the experts in our industry. They know how to run the shop, how to offer the kind of “Customer Experience” our customers are looking for and they have Created Destination Resort Experiences by… • Creating Partnerships with Celebrities in Indian Country, including comedians, actors, singers and bands who perform at tribal gaming entertainment and concert venues; • Developing hotel and resort properties that are tied to and integrated with Native culture, language, and food; • Offering spa and natural therapies; • Bringing in amenities such as theme parks for the entire family, shopping, gas, restaurants, golf, bowling and much more; and • Partnering with tribal museums, artists, historians, and environmentalists to provide a singularly unique experience. Through Tribal Government Gaming, Native Nations are working together and learning from each other. Indian nations and tribes have established joint hospitality ventures in Washington, D.C. and in nationally recognized resort areas. Our Member Tribes have built and re-built Four and Five-Star Properties in major cities, including San Diego, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and other major venues. A growing number of tribal governments are also taking their decades of experience in managing and regulating Indian gaming operations by expanding into the commercial gaming market in wide variety of states and countries around the world including; Aruba, Curacao, South Korea, Greece and Japan. However, it is important to note that while tribally-owned commercial casinos operate outside of IGRA, these tribal government enterprises continue to dedicate revenue generated from these operations directly back into Native communities. Tribal Government Gaming has proven to be far more than a means to an end, it has proven to be life- changing and transformative. In the beginning, Indian gaming was a “diamond in the rough” for Indian Country, and today, we are a Shooting Star! Conclusion As you can see, we have a lot of work to get to, but with the energy you all bring to this Convention, I am confident that we will continue to meet our mission of protecting tribal sovereignty and the ability tribal governments to engage in gaming to better our communities. Working together, we will continue to build new and strengthen existing relationships with Congress and the Administration to strengthen our industry and expand the benefits of Indian gaming to all of Indian Country. With nearly 8,400 attendees, the National Indian Gaming Association celebrated another record-breaking year at our 2018 annual Convention and Tradeshow. As we continue to grow our show, we build on our success and broaden our reach to an even larger audience. We are so grateful to our Member Tribes, Tribal Leadership, the operations and regulatory professionals and experts and to our partner organizations for all that you have done and continue to do on behalf of the Indian Gaming Industry. Working in unity has gathered our strength and expanded our success to make us more robust and the most substantial force in the gaming industry. I want to thank each and every one of you for being a part of the Indian Gaming Team!



W elcome to San Diego this year and thank you for taking a moment to review our 2018 Annual Report. Over the past year NIGA experienced a number of positive changes that are helping us fulfill our mission to defend Trial Sovereignty and create economic opportunities for our Tribal citizens. Last year, we experienced a political sea change that saw the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in a transformative election year. Indian Country gained new allies in Congress, including the first two Native American women elected to Congress. This new era of women empowerment is inspiring a new generation of women to step out and help lead this Country into a new era. With changing political leadership in Washington D.C., NIGA is focusing on creating positive developments in our industry. NIGA is moving forward and pursuing new paths for legislative and regulatory policies that will strengthen Tribal Governments and Tribal self-determination. At the top of the list is the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (TLSA). Tribal Governments should not rest until we restore our recognition as governments under the National Labor Relations Act. Many in Congress understand that to be sovereign means you must have jurisdiction over your lands without exception. State Governments and U.S. Territories did not accept unionization of their employees under Federal law, and Tribal Governments were granted this same deference for over 80 years until it was taken away by regulatory decisions at the NLRB and is unfortunately upheld by some Federal Circuit Courts. My Tribe, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, has employed union labor in the Puget Sound area for decades and like most Tribal Governments, we have provided a safe work environment with competitive wages amongst the highest in Washington State. NIGA will continue to carry this unique message to our union friends and those in Congress that must help Tribes reform what has become an inequitable law targeting Tribal businesses.


NIGA’s Congressional outreach has been greatly enhanced through the use of our headquarters by Congressmen and women and Senators. NIGA is now able to reach more Congressional Representatives and Senators than ever before as the Stan Crooks Center has established itself as a unique meeting place for Indian Country. Both political parties continue to utilize NIGA’s conference room and we are able to host numerous fundraisers without the exorbitant costs of renting hotel space. NIGA’s Executive Branch outreach is also focused on the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plans to ensure that Indian Country will be included for improvements to their transportation systems, water systems, broad band access, and to promote Tribal economic self-sufficiency. To ensure Indian Country continues to march forward on these important initiatives, I urge Tribal Nations to remain united behind our core key principles: protection of tribal sovereignty and fostering economic activity on the reservation. I want to thank NIGA’s Member Tribal Nations for your support over this past year. I look forward to continue my work with the NIGA Board of Directors, Tribal and Associate Members, and all of Indian Country as we face our challenges in 2019. My message as Vice-Chairman will remain unchanged: “Stay in motion…Forward Motion.” With the dawn of new leadership, I know Indian Country will work harder than ever to achieve what our citizens have elected us to do. “United,” Indian Country will continue to confront any obstacle in our way and embrace every opportunity to foster economic self-sufficiency -- always moving forward.



I t is my honor and privilege to provide you with NIGA’s 2018 Financial Report. As Treasurer of the National Indian Gaming Association, my primary duty is to ensure the long-term fiscal health of the Association. The NIGA By-Laws specifically state that the Treasurer is responsible for the funds and security of all monies received by the Association. Part of fulfilling this duty is conducting the annual audit, in 2018 NIGA enjoined Wisconsin based WIPFLi (formerly Joseph Eve LLC) to conduct the audit. WIPFLi conducted their audit of NIGA’s 2018 financials during the week of February 25th and I am pleased to report that NIGA received a “non-qualified” opinion from the auditors. This represents the seventeenth straight year that NIGA’s financial records and statements are in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), without exceptions. NIGA continues to rebound from the ambitious projects undertaken that put pressure on our fiscal earnings in 2015. In 2016, we completed construction on the $4.2 million Building Expansion. In 2017, NIGA aggressively addressed our new budget challenges by instituting operational cuts and trimming our budget. In 2018, I am pleased to report that NIGA not only met these challenges but is in stronger than ever financial position heading in to 2019. As the Audit details, NIGA is seeing increased revenues and savings from our transformed Headquarters and of course the Las Vegas Tradeshow ranks as one of the highest grossing Tradeshow in NIGA’s history. In 2018 we must thank our continuing sponsors to NIGA that are helping us pay down the construction mortgage and reduce NIGA’s debt burden into the future. For their support in 2018, I want to thank the following Tribes for their donations: Puyallup Tribe of Indians $250,000 Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians $250,000 VGT (an Aristocrat Company) $200,000


NIGA’s Associate members are an important component of serving our Tribal Members and we hope to see more donations from companies that are benefitting from Indian Gaming. As you take time to enjoy our Tradeshow and Conference this year, please be sure to review NIGA’s Annual Report and the 2018 Audit results enclosed with this report. NIGA’s operating capital saw a $600,000 increase in Revenues, the fourth straight year NIGA was able to cut our expenses and raise more revenues. I will continue our hard budget work at NIGA coordinating with the NIGA Finance Committee, the Chairman, Executive Director, and the NIGA Board, to protect NIGA’s resources and ensure they are being used to meet Indian Country’s priorities. I am confident that with Indian Country’s continuing participation at NIGA, we will be well- positioned to see increased growth in our Industry and with our Tribal membership. As Treasurer, I will continue to review and assess how we do business and to strengthen our commitment on behalf of Indian Country. There is always room for improvement in the way we do business and we can always stretch our capabilities with each new challenge and endeavor. As Treasurer, I owe it to our Tribal Membership to not only maintain NIGA’s excellent credit rating, but to ensure the long term fiscal health of the Association. It is an honor to have a elected role in an organization that is now of the most esteemed advocacy groups in Washington, D.C. I want to thank my Tlingit & Haida Indian community for their support, as well as all of Indian Country for helping NIGA achieve its goals. I look forward to meeting with you in San Diego and hearing your suggestions on how to continue to help all Tribal Nations pursue economic self-sufficiency, care for our people, and build a future for the generations to come. I wish you much success in 2019 and look forward to our next meeting.



I want to extend my greetings and thanks this year to all the Tribal Leaders that have journeyed to beautiful San Diego. It is a privilege to serve as the Executive Secretary of the National Indian Gaming Association. The past year was very busy and interesting both personally and professionally. In what turned out to be an historic 2018 election cycle, NIGA is now working with a new Congress and over 100 female members of Congress. This includes the first two Native American women in history to be elected to Congress, Representatives Deb Haaland and Sharice Davis. You can be sure that NIGA is working hard to help their transition to serving their constituents and listening to Indian Country’s priorities. I have witnessed the economic hurdles Tribal governments must overcome to address the shortcomings in our tribal educational, health, and administrative agencies. Gaming revenues are a vital source of investing in our communities to strengthen the governmental services provided to our citizens. In 2018, Tribal revenues grew by 2% to over $34 billion and more importantly, the employment numbers in Indian gaming surpassed 750,000 direct jobs created. NIGA will continue to provide leadership and discussion on exploring new ways that Tribal Governments can use their resources to bring self-sustaining economic development to our reservations. Tribes are connected to their lands in a spiritual sense and have an enduring responsibility to protect and maintain access to our natural environment. Indian Country continues to be a shining example of striking that balance between maintaining a vibrant industry and keeping our environment healthy for the continued use and enjoyment of generations to come.


Again, it is my utmost privilege to serve as NIGA’s Executive Secretary and I appreciate the opportunity to represent NIGA’s Member Tribes in this capacity. Serving in this position has provided me invaluable knowledge which I am honored to share with all of our leaders throughout Indian Country. I look forward to meeting with you at this year’s Tradeshow. Hnqwi’yqwi’yilgwes khwe sk’u’lshesh. (In humble service to you all.)



W elcome to beautiful San Diego as the National Indian Gaming Association (Indian Gaming) kicks off what will be successive years in Southern California. In 2018, Indian Gaming completed its second full year in our refurbished headquarters on Capitol Hill. Indian Gaming owns one of the most unique properties in Washington, D.C. Listed on the National Historic Registry as the “Watterson House,” construction started shortly after the Revolutionary War in 1791. Built entirely with slave labor, as were most buildings in D.C. during that timeframe, the Watterson House served as the residence for the first Librarian of Congress. The house avoided destruction during the War of 1812 when the British General, who oversaw the burning of D.C., made the three-story high Watterson House his headquarters for the advantageous site lines. The Watterson House changed owners several times over the centuries until we finally purchased the property in 1994. The Watterson House was all but abandoned when Indian Gaming’s pioneering founders, Tim Wapato and Rick Hill, impressed upon Tribal Leaders that Indian Gaming needed an enduring presence on Capitol Hill. Today we have that presence. Our expanded offices serve as a hub for tribal leaders and other tribal organizations as they conduct business on Capitol Hill. The building expansion could not have happened without Tribal Leader support and certainly not without the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux’s financial commitment and annual donations to the National Indian Gaming Association. I would also like to note that in 2018, we picked up three more major building sponsors with generous gifts from: Puyallup Tribe of Indians Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians VGT (an Aristocrat Company) These donations are helping to pay down our construction mortgage debt and strengthen our operating budget. After a second year of operation, Indian Gaming’s Headquarters are now hitting its stride with strong rental income and the incredible political exposure of hosting fundraisers and conferences so close to Congressional offices.


Starting in April 2019, we hope to start renovation work on, what will be, a state of the art “Tribal Leaders’ Lounge” in the downstairs part of Indian Gaming’s building. The Lounge will be available for all of Indian Country to come and relax between meetings on Capitol Hill, or just to visit a little slice of Indian Country in Washington, D.C. The National Indian Gaming Association and its staff are off to what should be a great 2019 both fiscally and administratively. Please stop by our offices anytime you are in D.C. Our doors are open for Tribal Leaders to come and relax during busy Hill visits, or just to come by, grab a snack in our kitchen, and visit with myself and the staff. We encourage all of Indian Country to come and use Indian Gaming’s offices while advocating on important Tribal issues. As we begin 2018, there is a lot of legislative and regulatory work ahead with regards to Tribal labor laws, gaming regulation, and protecting our Tribal Governments from severe federal budget cuts. I am proud to serve Indian Gaming in a role that helps to bring Indian Country’s voice to policy positions formulated in cooperation with all of our incredible Tribal organizations. Working with my peers in D.C. at NCAI, NACA, NIHB, NIEA, NAFOA and others, is a humbling experience. Each organization brings a unique viewpoint to the table, but not once has anyone ever lost focus on protecting Tribal Sovereignty and working to enhance Tribal self-determination. With that, I submit to you Indian Gaming’s 2018 Year in Review. 2018 Year in Review The National Indian Gaming Association and Indian Country successfully moved the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act (TLSA) through the House of Representatives, the fourth year in a row House leadership has voted to restore tribal sovereignty over on reservation labor issues. Indian Country owes a special “thank you” to Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK), Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), who helped rally support for Tribal Sovereignty. Unfortunately, the TLSA failed to secure 60 votes in the Senate to advance the legislation to the floor. Indian Country now has a tried and true friend in Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) whose persistence convinced Majority Leader McConnell to schedule the cloture vote. Indian Country secured 57 votes for TLSA, including several Democratic Senators that voted to defend Tribal Sovereignty even though they are in strong Union states. In 2019, Indian Country will again call on our friends from both sides of the aisle, including ranking member Senator Udall on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, to make the necessary changes to the National Labor Relations Act and protect tribal sovereignty and restore tribal government jurisdiction over their labor issues. The Future of Indian Gaming The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in Christie v. National Collegiate Athletic Association stating that PAPSA is unconstitutional, there has been non-stop discussion about its impact on Indian Gaming. Without a doubt, states that do not have Tribal-State Gaming Compacts have leapt into sports gambling. Most


of these states are centered in the east coast of the country with high-density populations. For Tribes, only two have implemented sports betting operations at their casinos, the Mississippi Choctaw and Santa Ana Pueblo. Most gaming Tribes are taking a “wait and see” approach to sports betting - concerns abound over legalized sports betting’s impact on Tribal exclusivity. There is an understandable hesitancy to open up existing compacts in order to strike a deal with a state over sports betting, a low margin casino offering with highly specialized resource requirements. In addition, for other Tribes, there are a number of important issues that remain unsettled under IGRA. Are there types of sports betting that could be classified as a Class II game? Certainly, Tribes offering Class II games would like to expand those games to encompass some type of sports betting. We are always concerned about the jurisdictional claims of state lottery officials who continue to explore expanding their operations into internet sales and now sports gambling. Tribes also have to consider the horse racing industry’s interests, and in California the card rooms also have expressed interest in offering sports betting. For National Indian Gaming Association and our Member Tribes, these potential new forms of gaming begin and end with their impact on tribal sovereignty. This principle has framed the Internet gaming debate in Indian Country from day one, and now forms the basis of evaluating legalized sports betting. Unfortunately, not all the commercial gaming, federal and state stakeholders, consider the impacts of new gambling laws on our Tribal Government’s interests. Therefore, the National Indian Gaming Association and our member Tribes will continue to be vigilant in protecting the hard fought agreements encompassed in State-Tribal Compacts. Indian Gaming Economic Impact Please take a moment to review the enclosed 2018 Economic Report. Indian Gaming continues to grow. There are 252 tribal governments operating 488 gaming facilities in 28 states. Our facilities brought in $33.8 billion in in gaming revenues and an additional $5.3 billion in ancillary revenues. Indian gaming now accounts for over 766,000 direct and indirect jobs in America; this makes Indian Gaming one of the top industries in this Country. With the historic 2018 elections behind us, the National Indian Gaming Association is educating new members in Congress about the success of Indian Gaming. We Are fulfilling our mission to educate a new round of legislators about the numerous treaties, laws, and court decisions that protect tribal sovereignty. The Indian Gaming staff and I look forward to proudly displaying how far Indian gaming has come and the positive contributions it makes to this Country, certainly the numerous Congressional fundraisers held at our D.C. headquarters help to send this message in a subtle yet noticeable manner. We will continue these important policy discussions and keep Indian Country and tribal leaders informed of all the policy and social questions surrounding Indian gaming.



NIGA Trainings and Seminars In 2017 and 2018, I reported that Indian Gaming had expanded its trainings and seminars for all tribal gaming commissioners and regulators. In 2019, we will once again offer new courses for the bedrock of Indian Gaming, our Tribal Regulators and Commissioners. Despite this increase, demand has continued to run strong from our gaming commissions and we will again be increasing the number of Commissioner Trainings and Masters Level Trainings across the country. We are also adding specialized Trainings, such as Class II Seminars to stress the importance of Tribal self-regulation and the opportunities afforded in the Class II arena. Indian Gaming’s trainings are continually evolving to meet the needs of our Tribal Governments and their gaming divisions. The tribal regulator’s role as the primary enforcement mechanism for our industry is one of our key messaging points. Participating in our trainings and seminars will provide another tool for your gaming commissions to provide the most up-to-date regulatory methods available and report on current information. Please visit our website for a full list of Trainings coming to a venue close to your Tribe. We are always looking to meet the needs of the Indian gaming industry and encourage you to submit ideas and suggestions on other training we can provide to keep our regulators and operators ahead of the curve. Conclusion Indian Gaming is a central part of many state and local economies and the data indicates our industry is playing a strong role in the recovery in those areas. As you can see from our Economic Impact Report, Tribal properties are generating several billion dollars in capital costs, operations and maintenance, security and surveillance, goods and services, etc. Tribes’ remaining revenue is reinvested into the tribal government to help pay for education, health care, police and fire protection, housing, water and sewer service, transportation, government infrastructure and community development. Tribal Governments, like most governments, exist to provide a better standard of living of their citizens. We know that our Member Tribes are committed to rebuilding their Indian communities and creating sustainable economic models on the reservation. Indian Gaming revenues play a vital role in this endeavor and together we will continue to share our economic development stories with America. Once Indian Country’s full story is told, all citizens will realize that the growth of Indian Gaming is truly another great American success story. Please stop by our offices anytime you are in Washington, D.C. - our doors are always open. We are proud to serve as your voice on Capitol Hill.



ALASKA DELEGATE Vacant EASTERN DELEGATE ROBERT MCGHEE Poarch Band of Creek Indians Alternates: MICHAEL CONNERS St. Regis Mohawk WILLIAM CANELLA Seneca Nation of Indians EASTERN OKLAHOMA DELEGATE MATTHEW MORGAN Chickasaw Nation Alternate: RANNY MCWATTERS Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma GREAT PLAINS DELEGATE RANDY PHELAN Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara Nation Alternates: WILLIAM “SHORTY” BREWER Oglala Sioux Tribe

MIDWEST DELEGATE BRANDON STEVENS Oneida Nation of Wisconsin Alternate: MELANIE BENJAMIN Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe SCOTT VELE Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe NAVAJO DELEGATE JONATHAN NEZ, PRESIDENT Navajo Nation NORTHWEST DELEGATE DENISE HARVEY Confederate Tribes of Grande Ronde PACIFIC DELEGATE MARK MACARRO, CHAIRMAN Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians Alternates: DENNIS HENDRICKS Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians

CHAIRMAN ERNEST L. STEVENS, JR. Oneida Nation of Wisconsin




GARY SANTOS Tule River Tribe ROSEMARY MORILLLO Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians




AT-LARGE MEMBERS GREG ABRAHAMSON Spokane Tribe KURT BLUEDOG Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community JOEL FRANK Seminole Tribe of Florida STEPHEN LEWIS, GOVERNOR Gila River Indian Community ASSOCIATE MEMBER DELEGATE (Non-Voting) JODI DILASCIO Director Tribal Gaming Division BMM Testlabs RUSSELL WITT Director of Operations & Business Development - Class II Ainsworth Game Technology

Jason Giles Executive Director Muscogee (Creek)

CLINTON WAGON Eastern Shoshone Tribe Alternates: Jenni Wildcat Northern Arapaho Tribe Troy Felsman Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes SOUTHERN PLAINS DELEGATE VACANT SOUTHWEST DELEGATE STUART PAISANO Pueblo of Sandia Alternate: JERRY SMITH Pueblo of Laguna WESTERN DELEGATE JANE RUSSELL-WINIECKI CHAIRWOMAN Yavapai Apache Nation Alternates: VERLON JOSE Tohono O’Odham Nation PAUL RUSSELL Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation DELBERT RAY, PRESIDENT Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

Danielle Her Many Horses Deputy Executive Director/General Counsel Oglala Lakota Debbie Thundercloud

Chief of Staff Oneida Nation Kevin Leecy Membership Director Bois Forte Angelica Molina Business Manager Navajo (Dine’) Maria Ferguson Office Manager Rudy Soto

Legislative Director Shoshone Bannock Chelsea Blake Legislative Associate Vanessa Little Executive Assistant Bois Forte Mary-Charlotte Grayson Tradeshow Coordinator Cherokee Nation Mimi Hoang Receptionist



FY 2018


Contents Economic Impact Summary

25 25 26 26

Background Introduction




Areas of Employment Gains Payroll and Related Taxes

Federal and State Government Taxes Government Taxes Paid 2013 to 2017 MULTIPLIER AND TOTAL IMPACT NAICS Sector Impacts Indian Gaming Wages Indian Gaming Operating Expenses Indian Gaming Regulation Indian Gaming Capital

Indian Gaming Transfer Payments Indian Gaming Revenue Sharing Indian Gaming Overall Economic Output Economic Impact State Summaries KEY FINDINGS OF STATE SUMMARIES Ranked Industries by Output United States Private Employers


45 46


Economic Impact Summary The following section presents a summary of the findings and conclusions from the study entitled, “The Nationwide Impacts of Indian Gaming,” An Economic Analysis Study for 2018, conducted and authored by Dupris Consulting Group, LLC. on behalf of the National Indian Gaming Association. DIRECT AND MULTIPLIER IMPACT • In 2018, the Indian Gaming Industry has generated significant economic activity which had an overall economic output of $87,023,847,012. This represents an economic output of $23,315,756,853 on the reservation, where all Tribal casinos are located and an economic output of $63,708,090,159 off the reservation. • The Indian Gaming Industry, in 2018 directly transferred $13,831,363,429 to their Tribal owners for governmental program spending and investments, helping to meet gaps in federal funding for Indian programs. Since government spending is largely wages and employee benefits, the majority of that spending stays in the region. • Tribal Gaming Operations and Ancillary Facilities supported 308,712 ongoing jobs in 2018 of which 75% or held my non-tribal citizens. • Total employment gains from the Indian Gaming Industry’s economic impact activities totaled 766,944 jobs. Of this total, 40.3% or 308,712 were direct jobs, and 59.7% or 458,232 representing indirect jobs. • Wages paid to employees of the Indian Gaming Industry amounted to $9,484,393,424 and employment resulting from Indian Gaming workers spending their disposable incomes, operations

purchasing activities and capital expansion projects generated another $24,662,973,771 in wages. In summary, Indian Gaming was responsible for generating $34,147,367,195 in direct and indirect wages throughout Indian Country, the States their casinos are in, and the United States. • The fiscal impacts to State and Federal Governments have been very strong. When including taxes paid and payments reduced, the Indian Gaming Industry has had a positive impact on governments in the amount of $17,243,917,654. Background Nationwide Indian Gaming continues to contribute tax revenues, purchasing power, expansion development and jobs throughout the United States where Indian casinos operate. It has become a powerful catalyst for many American Indian Nations, allowing tribes an opportunity for bringing significant economic growth and jobs into their communities, which was almost non-existent prior to the Supreme Court’s 1987 decision in the California v. Cabazon case, as well as the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. Furthermore, as was the intention of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988, Indian Gaming has saved federal, state and local taxpayers and governments from being required to fund of billions of dollars for unemployment and other income or food subsidies, for direct aid to tribal entities, and for education. This can be directly quantified in one monetary calculation as Indian Gaming’s 488 properties, in 2018, directly transferred $13.8 billion to Tribal governments for program spending and investments. In 2018, there were 252 Tribal Governments operating 488 gaming facilities with over 24.5 million square feet of gaming space in 28 states.


In these facilities, management actively oversees 365,549 slot machines, 6,320 table games, 1,535 poker tables, 61,714 bingo seats, 50,169 hotel rooms, 1,461 restaurants, 420 entertainment venues, 4.4 million square feet of convention space and 396,195 parking spaces. This all contributed to help Indian gaming grow to $33.8 billion in gambling revenues and $5.3 billion in ancillary revenues for a total of $39.1 billion in total revenues. The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) reported $32.4 billion in gambling revenues in 2017. This represents a 4.28% increase from the previous year, when compared to what Dupris Consulting Group, LLC has estimated for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) in 2018. Special Note: In the Indian Gaming Industry State- by-State Key Economic Impact Numbers Summary on page 43 the total number of Tribes operating casinos at the state level is 258. When calculating the grand total of Tribes operating 488 casinos in the United States, the number is 252. Tribal Governments: Omaha Tribe of Nebraska (IA, NE), Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska (IA, NE), Quechan Indian Tribe (AZ, CA), Sisseton- Wahpeton Sioux Tribe (ND, SD), Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (ND, SD) and Fort Mojave Indian Tribe (AZ, NV) have casino businesses in two different states. Introduction Tribal Nations in the United States have a unique governmental status. They are classified as sovereign nations, but in terms of jurisdictions, they closely resemble local and state government entities. In most tribal governments, you will find: Tribal courts, police departments, housing departments, planning departments, hospitals and school systems, as well as cultural and social programs for the youth and elders. Consequently, tribal nations have significant economic and social impacts on their tribal reservations and the regions surrounding those reservations. With the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

in 1988, Tribal governments in 28 States, have had the opportunity to grow their contribution to the people and communities surrounding their Tribal lands, with a dynamic and growing business in casino entertainment. In the past six years, Indian Gaming has paid $90,418,488,804 in taxes to the Federal and State governments, of which $9,855,272,959 has been in the form of revenue sharing, through existing agreements. This report seeks to quantify the annual production, employment, and payroll impacts of Indian Gaming in the states they are located in. The study methodology is discussed in the next few sections, followed by a detailed account of the direct and multiplier impacts from Indian Gaming Operations, Capital spending and Transfer Payments made to Tribal Governments in 2018. Economic Impact Modeling METHODOLOGY Economic impact assessments are meant to measure the effects of businesses or industries or other economic events within the bounds of geographies or other entities with identifiable boundaries. Economic impacts can be positive, negative or they can mitigate other impacts be they positive or negative. Economic impact analysis is an important tool that is used by both business and government to make decisions about new projects, capital investments, the historical effects of past development and the potential effects of a new line of business or government project. For this project, the goal was to identify employment outcomes, spending effects and fiscal effects relative to government-based taxes and government expenses incurred or avoided.


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