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Why Do so Many Tribes Operate Casinos?

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Presently, out of 566 Federally recognized tribes in the U.S, 233 tribes operate 420 casinos in 28 states. They are empowered by IGRA, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which was passed and ratified by the U.S. Congress in 1989. The profits from gaming are to be utilized for the sole benefit of the tribal nation and their members. Some tribes distribute profits through a system called per-capita, by which each tribal member is entitled to a predetermined percentage of the profits earned by the casino. The empowerment opportunities provided by Indian gaming surpasses any previous trust responsibility promised by treaty or otherwise by the U.S. Government in exchange for lands ceded to the government.

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