Cherokee Nation highlights benefits of growing casino industry

Charts explain the benefits of Indian gaming, 10 years after Oklahoma voter approved a Class III gaming compact. Photo from Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation welcomed tribal, local and state officials to its flagship casino on Monday to celebrate 10 years of Class III gaming in Oklahoma.

Voters legalized Class III gaming through State Question 712 in 2004. At the time, the state anticipated about $71 million a year from tribal facilities.

Tribes have far surpassed those expectations and they now operate more than 110 casinos, the most in any state. Some 33 tribes with compacts have contributed $895 million to the state in the last decade.

"Actual results over the past 10 years far exceeded initial projections, which means more money for Oklahoma schools and other services across our great state. It is rewarding to show 10 years later we not only accepted the challenge and met projections, but we’ve exceeded that initial pledge," Chief Bill John Bake said at the event, according to a press release. "It’s partnerships like these that are changing lives and making our state stronger.”

The tribe says its gaming enterprise has created more than 4,000 jobs. An economic study showed that the tribe had a $1.3 billion economic impact in the state.

As of 2012, the tribal casino market in Oklahoma grew to $3.7 billion, up from $501.6 million in 2002, according to Casino City’s North American Gaming Almanac.

Get the Story:
Cherokee Nation Celebrates 10 Years Since Passage of S.Q.712 (KTUL 11/17)
Tenth anniversary of Oklahoma's Tribal Gaming Compact celebrated (The Tulsa World 11/18)

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