Top 10 Interesting Facts About Native American Casinos


Have you ever wondered what the American casino industry is like? You must have wondered how big it is and if the payouts on winnings are any different. If you would like to try betting at the American casinos, learn a thing or two about them. Armed with a little bit of info and history, then you can dive into the gaming world headfirst.

Native American casinos are the bingo halls, casinos, and related gambling businesses located on Indian reservations and such lands in the USA. These areas are different from ordinary American states because they enjoy tribal sovereignty. Examples of these are found in California, Idaho, New York, Connecticut, Indiana, and Oklahoma.


1. They are larger than casinos in Las Vegas

You may have seen how big hotels in Las Vegas are. You may be further surprised by the fact that these are not the world’s biggest casinos. Some of the world’s biggest casinos in the United States are actually tribal. If the square foot of gaming space is anything to go by, then Oklahoma’s Winstar World Casino is the largest in the country.

The second-largest is the Foxwoods Resort Casino based in Mashantucket, Connecticut while the third-largest casino in the country is Las Vegas ‘own MGM Grand. While the other two casinos dwarf the first one, it is the most iconic as far as sheer gambling action is concerned.


2. Native American Casinos Make more Money than Las Vegas

In mid-2017, the revenues from Indian gaming sites hit a whopping $32.4 billion. This was a significant 3.9% increase as compared to the previous year. Revenue generated from the Las Vegas Strip was a paltry $17.8 billion. Note that this accounted for rooms, meals, beverages, and gambling.

What causes such a huge difference? It is important to note that most Las Vegas casinos receive gamblers during holiday seasons and when people are on vacation. On the contrary, people visit Indian casinos on a daily basis, holiday, or no holiday. Even if you deduct salaries, overheads and management costs, Indian casinos still make more.


3. Games are not controlled at Native American casinos

Did you know that games at Indian casinos are not regulated the way you are used to at Las Vegas? Payment schedules, rules, and regulations are set by each casino as it deems fit. In fact, the laws of payout percentages are not clear and are not set in stone.

This does not automatically mean that casino games are more controlled. In fact, the contrary could be true. As each establishment has differing rules, your experience could be circumstantial and not necessarily repetitive the next time you visit.


4. The look and feel is different from your ordinary casino

You will not be treated the same way at Indian casinos that you are treated at Las Vegas casinos. Both types of establishments will offer complimentary meals, hotel rooms, and drinks. However, your general experience will be different, just as the clientele is different.

As earlier mentioned, Las Vegas attracts holidaymakers. In Indian casinos, you may not find people spending nights there when they only live 30 or so minutes away. As a result, these places may feel less lively, cold, or even boring.


5. Casinos aren’t necessarily run by the tribe

There is no denying that native land in America is protected. However, this privilege does not translate to the tribes actually managing or running the day-to-day activities of their casinos. Instead, external investment companies operate casinos here. For example, a South African investor managed the famous Mohegan Sun for many years.

Further, The Prairie Band Casino in Kansas and the North Carolina, Cherokee Casino are currently operated by Harrah’s, a company that has zero interest in the tribal lands. This fact does not mean that Indian casinos are better or worse managed. If you expected to see Native Indians collecting money, then you are in for a rude shock.


6. Only Winners and employees pay taxes, but not tribes

You can easily be confused by the taxation system around the Native American casinos. As you may be aware, state and federal governments do not have the right to tax activities of the native tribes. While they do not pay express taxes, Native Casinos often part with certain amounts to pay local counties.

It gets more interesting. When tribal members receive their salaries or profits, these amounts become taxable. In addition, you can receive your win/loss statements via your loyalty cards. This helps you to file taxes to the exchequer.


7. Security officers command more power

Security guards at Las Vegas casinos can only watch ongoing. If they spot any form of cheating, they will report to the police, who will then take appropriate action. That is not the case with the security guards at Indian casinos. When and if you cheat, tribal police will arrest and prosecute you at their local courts.

Therefore, if you are planning to make dishonest winnings at these places, you may want to shelve the idea. Note that the tribal police are fully privileged. They are always armed as they guard their casinos.


8. These casinos improve staff rates

The jobs found at Indian casinos are fairly better than jobs found in other establishments within protected lands. Research findings indicate that young people return to the reservations in search for these jobs. Where a new casino opens in tribal lands, the employment rate, their records a 26% increase.

At the same time, the number of working poor reduces by 14%. Apart from employing bartenders, dealers, and cleaners, casinos also need personnel such as executives and managers. In turn, musicians make a larger profit when they come to perform in town.


9. They have their drawbacks too

Where there are advantages, there must be some disadvantages. The same research findings indicated an increase in immoral practices. There has been a rise in theft, suicide, and bankruptcy in tribal areas within 50 miles of the location of a new casino. You can never be sure that this research captured all the ills associated with new casinos.

While these and other social challenges usually increase every time a new Native American casino opens, there is another worry. You see, Native American casinos do not pay taxes. This means that the ills that they bring to society are paid for using money from other places.


10. Profits generated go to social & infrastructure development

Contrary to popular belief, not all the tribe’s people are level. In fact, we can easily assume that these establishments make huge profits to benefit just a selected number of people. The truth is that proceeds from Native American casinos are spread across the community.

In most cases, the operators of Native American casinos will feel indebted to society. They will often build or refurbish schools, hospitals, roads, and other infrastructural things. It is not rare to see casinos contributing money directly to help struggling families.



Having known more about Native American casinos, now you can identify their uniqueness. It is clear to you that some of the things you have heard about Native American casinos are just myths. You should visit these once in a while to experience the real deal and increase your understanding of American casinos. If native casinos arent your thing then why not play at home and visit our list of quality casinos

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