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Working Effectively with Tribal Governments

Federal Indian Law and Policy

Indian Gaming law (continued)

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Correcting Common Misconceptions

  • Tribes are growing rich from Congress allowing them to game.

    This is false. Congress did not allow tribes to game by passing IGRA. The Cabazon ruling affirmed tribes' independent, sovereign right to game as an expression of self-government. Further, while a few well-situated tribes have been able to generate significant revenues, many tribes still struggle to fund services (police protection, health care, education, etc.) for their members. In 2005, 44.7% of gaming revenue was generated by only 6% of operations.

  • All tribal members receive large, tax-free revenue shares from the casinos.

    This is false. Many gaming tribes do not issue per capita payments to members. IGRA requires that members who do receive payments pay federal taxes on them.


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