Economic Impact

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) clearly states the intent of Congress to “provide a statutory foundation for Indian gambling operations as a means of promoting economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal government.”

Tribal gaming has supported job creation, business growth, and economic vitality – not only on reservations, but also throughout Minnesota – especially in the rural areas where most of the tribes are located.

Following are highlights of The Economic Impact of Indian Gaming in Minnesota, published August 2016.

  • Tribes are Minnesota’s 14th largest employer.
  • Tribes directly employ 15,287 people on and off the reservation through their gaming and non-gaming enterprises. That doesn’t include tribal government employees.
  • Three-quarters of the workforce are full-time employees.
  • Each year MIGA member tribes pay approximately $126 million in payroll taxes.
  • Tribes pay their gaming and government employees more than $500 million in wages and benefits annually.
  • Tribal casinos pay more than $64 million annually toward employee health and dental insurance benefits.
  • Tribes purchase more than $717 million in goods and services annually, including more than $482 million from Minnesota businesses.
  • During the past 25 years, tribes have invested more than $2.5 billion in their gaming and government operations.
  • Tribes invested nearly $200 million in improvements in 2015 alone.
  • Another $300 million in improvements are underway or planned for 2016-2017.
  • Indian gaming represents the second-largest tourism attraction in the State of Minnesota.
  • Tribal casinos attract almost 23 million visitors annually, second only to Mall of America.
  • More than 2.4 million of the people who visit Minnesota tribal casinos live in other states.