Patrons at the Cherokee Nation gaming facility in Siloam Springs, Oklahoma. Photo: Carol Von Canon

Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association details economic benefits of casinos

A new study released by the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association details the economic benefits of tribal casinos in the state.

According to The Oklahoman, tribal casinos employ about 28,000 people. When direct and indirect jobs are included, the impact grows to 42,700, the paper said. In total, employee earnings pumped $2.275 billion into the state economy.

"Oklahoma tribes and the state of Oklahoma have reasons to be extremely proud of what is happening here in the Indian gaming industry," Jim Klas, a co-author of the study, told The Oklahoman.

Oklahoma is home to 131 tribal facilities, the most of any state. The region has shown growth in recent years, according to data released by the National Indian Gaming Commission, a federal agency.

Gross gaming revenues in 2016 by region. Source: National Indian Gaming Commission

Revenues in the Oklahoma City region, for example, increased 5.7 percent in 2016. In the Tulsa region, revenues grew 4.0 percent.

In Oklahoma City region, which also includes facilities in Texas, gross gaming revenues were $2.3 billion. In the Tulsa region, which includes casinos in Kansas, revenues hit $2.3 billion.

“The success reflected in the 2016 gross gaming revenue is due, at least in part, to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’s promotion of tribal self-determination principles,” Chairman Jonodev O. Chaudhuri. of the NIGC said in a press release. Overall, tribal casinos took in $31.2 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent.

More detailed information about the 2016 gross gaming revenue can be found at

Read More on the Story:
Indian gaming helps drive rural Oklahoma economies, report finds (The Oklahoman 7/26)

Join the Conversation