Officials from the Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA) announced the publication of an economic impact study on the benefits of Indian gaming in Arizona.
Taylor Policy Group, Inc. conducted the study. Jonathon B. Taylor, a Florida-based economic consultant, is a recognized expert on the impacts of Indian gaming.
The study verified that Indian gaming in Arizona directly employs more than 15,000 people, which, if tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that tallies employment by job type, would rank gaming above mining and logging. When indirect jobs are added, that number exceeds 22,000.
"Indian gaming contributes directly to rural economic development in Arizona," said Valerie Spicer, AIGA executive director. "It produces jobs, attracts tourism and brings investment to areas that have historically had depressed economies."
The study concluded that tribal gaming affects Arizona's economy on the whole.
"Construction and operations for an Indian casino translate very quickly into purchases and hires from the broader Arizona economy," said Taylor. "Because tribes do not have diverse economies capable of supplying the necessary electricity, carpeting, restaurant supplies, advertising or poker chips, they have to turn to the state economy for goods, services and labor."
Individuals interested in reading the study can visit www.azindiangaming.org.
AIGA has a membership of 17 tribes, representing more than 90 percent of the Indian people living in Arizona. In 10 years the tribes have earned almost $800 million to support education, trauma and emergency care, conservation, and economic development through tourism. Gaming revenues are also shared with cities, towns, and counties statewide and support hundreds of nonprofits and charitable organizations.