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Q&A with Thomas Beauty on Arizona Indian Gaming Association


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The Arizona Indian Gaming Association marked a milestone -- $1 billion in shared revenues with the state. Photo from Facebook

Indian Country Today interviews Thomas Beauty, the vice president of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association, about the tribal casino industry:
What was your response to the news that Indian gaming revenues in Arizona increased 3 percent in 2012 from $1.75 billion to $1.8 billion—higher than the national rate of growth (2 percent)?



We believe it’s great news. This increase in revenues increases the contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund that impacts all Arizonans. Since 2002, Indian gaming has contributed around $1 billion to the state economy. As the economy of Arizona slowly begins to rebound, the residents of the state are planning more “staycations,” which helps contribute to the increase. In addition, the casino operators have done a great job in creating wonderful environments for their patrons with smart offerings to maximize revenue potential.



Does the AIGA meet as a group with agencies and congressional representatives, and if so, does the association prepare a common agenda of issues to discuss?


The Arizona Indian Gaming Association along with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona have scheduled joint meetings on behalf of each respective association with congressional representatives, agencies and organizations. In addition to scheduling the meetings, the organizations have worked with Arizona tribes to develop unified positions on issues that impact Arizona tribes as a region.



What are the top three issues that you’ll bring to Washington as a group?


As a unified group, [our issues are] the Arizona Inter Tribal Trust Fund, tribal healthcare and Indian Health Services, and tribal water issues.

Get the Story:
Arizona Indian Gaming Association Holds DC Impact Week (Indian Country Today 4/28)

Also Today:
Arizona Indian Gaming marks 10 years, $1B in benefits fund (The Arizona Republic 4/26)

Related Stories:
Arizona tribes close to $1B mark in gaming revenue sharing (04/18)

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