There are currently no Native American owned casinos in the State of New Jersey. There is, however, a Resort Casino Hotel that is managed by the Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut.
The first casino hotel in Atlantic City
In May 1978 the first Casino Resort hotel opened in Atlantic City and was the first of its kind outside of Nevada. It was a huge hotel that at the time had 84 gaming tables and over 800 slot machines.
The Mohegan Indian Tribe of Connecticut took over the management of the Resort’s Casino Hotel in 2012. The Mohegan Gaming Advisors that now run the hotel are a subsidiary of the Uncasville, Connecticut Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
Native American Gaming
There are currently over 400 gambling operations in the United States that are run by 240 tribes. As these establishments are on Indian reservations, they have tribal sovereignty thus the US is limited in their ability to ban it there. This is codified in the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
President Ronald Reagan signed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988 giving Native Americans Tribal-State sovereignty to create various halls in which casino type games could be operated.
But these establishments have to be in Tribal-State compacts of which federal government may regulate the gaming.
Gaming is a large revenue for Native American Economy
The revenue received from Native gaming took a huge upswing after the IGRA was signed. In 1988 revenue from Native gaming was $100 million, and by 2006 that number had increased to $16.7 billion.
In order to keep gaming regulated, the National Indian Gaming Commission was created in 1988. This is a federal agency that was formed to ensure that high-stakes Native gaming, Class II and Class II gaming, is regulated.
In 2006 the government passed legislation to protect casino interests outside of Tribal lands from tribes that do not reside on reservations. As casino revenue has sky-rocketed on Tribal lands, so too has corruption.
Locals are demanding more transparency and a say in where these casinos are located in their communities.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs or the BIA has been put under pressure by Congress to tighten up their approval of gaming regulatory policies, casino approvals and give the community more influence on the sites where they are to be built.
Gaming impact on Native American economics
In the 1950s tribal communities were struggling and needed some form of financial boost. The tribal lands were not economically productive, they had poor infrastructure and a high unemployment rate.
Some tribes sold off parts of their land to non-Natives in order to develop some form of economic growth.
The rise of tribal gaming, although it has been intervened on by the US throughout its rise, has become the single biggest economic success for the tribal communities that house these establishments.
Many of the Native American governments have seen a great improvement in their areas. Such as better schools, better infrastructure and increased employment.
The Indian Gaming Workshop Group
Although Indian Gaming may have proven quite a success for the tribal communities it has not come without a price. As with any booming economy comes the risk of corruption and crime.
The NIGC along with the FBI formed The Indian Gaming Workshop Group whose purpose is to identify criminal activities and violations that may happen in Native gaming. It is their responsibility to ensure that any such matters are thoroughly investigated and addressed.