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.
18 INDIAN GAMING - ANNUAL REPORT 2019
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