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Indian Gaming in Montana One step to opening the door to new opportunities for the First Montanans.

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Presentation on theme: "Indian Gaming in Montana One step to opening the door to new opportunities for the First Montanans."— Presentation transcript:

1 Indian Gaming in Montana One step to opening the door to new opportunities for the First Montanans

2 Regulatory Framework - History  1970s: few tribes in several states open high-stakes bingo parlors (CA, FL, ME, NY, WI)  Cabazon case (1987) upheld tribal authority over gaming, not state authority in most areas.  IGRA (1988) provides for new breakdown of authority over tribal gaming.

3 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act  3 classes of gaming, each with different regulatory authority  Class I – exclusive tribal regulation (traditional tribal gaming)  Class II – tribal and federal regulation (non-banking cards, bingo)  Class III – state - tribal compact required (casino style gaming: slots, craps, blackjack, etc.)

4 Post-IGRA Developments  Indian Gaming has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry  Tribes across the United States have utilized gaming proceeds to improve social conditions  New employment opportunities in traditionally high unemployment areas  Tribes have become empowered economically and politically

5 Benefits of Tribal Gaming  2004: $18.5 billion revenue  Over 500,000 jobs provided  Studies show crime rates decrease with tribal casinos opening in nearby communities  Tribal revenues are used to fund governmental programs and operations, diversified economic development, charitable donations, and to assist other local government operations  Most tribes do not pay per capita to tribal members from gaming proceeds under IGRA  Tribal members receiving gaming per capita income pay federal taxes

6 Benefits of Tribal Gaming  Nationally, 75% of tribal gaming employees are non-Indian  In many economically depressed rural reservations, 80% of tribal gaming employees are Indian.  2004: $1.8 Billion in State Government revenue  2004: $5.5 Billion in Federal Tax revenue

7 Disparities in Montana Gaming  State of Montana unemployment rate: 2-4%  Machines in Hardin, MT in 2006: 125  Machines in Billings, MT in 2006: 1997  Machines licensed in the State of Montana: 18,000+, state- licensed operators  Crow Tribe unemployment rate: approx % depending on season  Machines allowed under current State-Tribal compact on Crow Reservation: 100  Class III Machines on Montana Indian Reservations: ca. 900

8 Montana’s Stake in Keeping Tribal Gaming Under Wraps  Governor claims he is against expanded gaming in Montana  Montana has one of the highest per capita concentrations of gaming machines in the U.S.  2006 video gaming taxes: Statewide: nearly $58 Million Billings: $9,415,570 (Roughly $2 million increase from 2003.) Hardin: $517,618  Amount wagered in MT in video gaming in $1.082 Billion  Under state law 9 member Gaming Advisory Council includes one Native American, three gaming industry representatives, and three local government representatives

9 Montana: Known as the Last Worst Place for Indian Gaming  Montana State-Tribal compacts are THE POOREST with THE WORST TERMS in the entire U.S.  Lack realistic competitive advantage to draw clientele to tribal gaming facilities  State’s Questionable ability to negotiate in good faith – conflicts of interest  Out of step with national trend in state- tribal relations  Continuing lost opportunities for all parties – tribal and state alike!

10 Where do we go from here? IGRA states that: A principal goal of Federal Indian policy is to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments. Tribes in Montana have been repeatedly limited in their ability to use gaming to achieve any measurable economic growth. Preferred solution: true cooperation, true good faith negotiation – that hasn’t happened so far. Other options are being explored. One key to building tribal economic independence in Montana is in creating viable opportunities to expand Indian gaming responsibly.


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