The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, (OIGA) a non-profit created to promote the general welfare of Oklahoma tribal members, has recently released their annual impact report detailing the economic significance of the tribal gambling industry in the state. The findings are impressive.
Of the 23,277 ongoing tribal gaming operations jobs, 83.2 percent were full-time positions, with annual wages, salaries and tips near $910 million. Benefits including healthcare, dental, life insurance and retirement plans totaled an additional $255 million. The employees and operators paid in excess of $264 million in payroll taxes, and another $30 million in Oklahoma state income taxes.
There are 39 federally recognized tribes in the Oklahoma. 33 have signed compacts and created the current 124 gaming operations which range from small gas stop annexes to full-scale resort casinos – more than any other state. The facilities provide patrons access to a total of 71,750 electronic games, and over 4,600 bingo seats and other games. The operators assessed that there were 38.2 million visits in 2014, with 14.6 million, or over 38 percent of the casino and gaming visitations from out-of-state guests.
The most impressive numbers published in the study are the total revenue reports of $4.2 billion, which represents 2.5% of the state’s private production. However, when you factor in the induced and indirect impact of capital expenditures and improvements, construction, and operational costs, revenue increased an additional $2.7 billion for a total of $6.9 billion in direct and indirect state revenue.
Oklahoma voters approved the state’s tribal Gaming Act in 2004, and since inception, the tribes have paid almost a billion dollars in exclusivity fees to the state. However, the report was prepared specifically to address and quantify the production, construction, employment, and payroll impacts of the Oklahoma Indian gaming industry for the benefit of the state’s residents.