Land based casinos in the United States have, for the most part, been resigned to certain specific locations across the nation, and then usually in considerable quantity. This is because of the different state laws in the different states that make up the United States, quite self-explanatory, but as a result led to collective establishments and casino havens like Las Vegas and Atlantic city. Native American casinos on the other hand have done something a little different. Due to legislation established in the 1970s and 1980s after certain legal cases, sovereignty was granted to Native American tribal reservations that protected them from a considerable degree of regulation and state law. As a result there are a fair few of these gambling and gaming establishments scattered around the United States.

The Birth of Native American Casinos

In the early 1970s a married Native American couple received a property tax bill whilst living on tribal reservations. They disputed this legally and after losing at the various legislative levels they finally brought their claim in front of the United States Supreme Court. This led to a unanimous decision that prevented the states’ from taxing Native Americans on Native American land and, importantly for this story, also protected the Native Americans from state regulation on their own reservations. This was a big moment for a lot of groups and enabled a rapid growth in land based Native American casinos around the United States.

Over the next few decades several legislative processes took place to refine the legal situation between states and Native American casinos as well as the federal government’s control. After several acts were passed and different classes of gaming laid out, the stage was properly set for growth and since then the industry has shown a fair amount of revenue. One of the most pivotal of these legislative acts was the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which was signed in 1988 and kept considerable tribal sovereignty and therefore still gave the rights to all gaming classes unless in direct clash with the state.

Classes of Gaming with Native American Casinos

Once most of the dust had settled regarding the legislative confrontation, the tribal groups that had invested and setup casinos and gaming halls had begun raking in quite a revenue, which definitely had its pro’s and con’s for many groups. However it is the different gaming classes and therefore the availability of different games that is perhaps more interesting when regarding Native American casinos. The classes of gaming are split into 3 groups. Classes 1 and 2 are games that don’t require a license, like bingo and poker halls as well as lotteries, and fall into the field of traditional Native American gaming. Class 3 however is reserved for high stakes gaming like casinos and racetrack betting and is perhaps the most exciting. All are offered across the 450 plus Native American casinos and gaming establishments, which are in turn operated by nearly half that number of tribes. An impressive history and some exciting offerings through these land based casinos.