Tribal Non-Gaming Impact
California tribal government gaming generates $8 billion a year for the state’s economy according to a recently released study

Tribal government gaming continues to generate important benefits across California’s economy and its economic impact is growing, according to a new study conducted by Beacon Economics, a leading independent economic research firm.

The study was commissioned by the California Nations Indian Gaming Association (CNIGA) and surveyed 17 gaming tribes across the state—or nearly one-third of all tribal government gaming operations statewide. It included a cross section of large and small casinos in urban and rural markets with a range of amenities including hotels, restaurants, retail establishments and entertainment venues.

The 2014 study finds that Indian gaming operations provide benefits throughout California’s economy, with a larger impact on the state’s economic activity than in 2010, the last year studied prior to the new report.

The study serves as both an update and expansion to the previous study by adding expanded research in the areas of non-gaming operations located at tribal casinos, such as hotels, spas, golf courses and concert halls, revenue sharing with non-gaming tribes and charitable contributions. By expanding the report, Beacon Economics was able to measure the totality of benefits generated by tribal government gaming operations.

“California tribal governments are upholding the promise we made to California voters: that we would provide for our people and land, create jobs in local communities, and be good neighbors by supporting the non-profits and public entities that contribute to the quality of life in our regions,” said Daniel J. Tucker, chairman of CNIGA, in a prepared statement. “Tribal government gaming has delivered for our people, our non-tribal neighbors, local and state governments and California taxpayers, as well as providing financial assistance for non-gaming tribes to assist them in building a foundation for economic independence.”

“Our new analysis shows that California tribal government gaming has an $8 billion annual impact and supports more than 56,000 jobs for state residents,” added Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics. “The benefits are broad-based and statewide, reaching far beyond the tribes themselves and generating financial support for local job creation, healthcare, emergency first responders and education, among other essential government services. The analysis also finds that the continuing economic recovery has helped the industry grow.”

The study’s key findings included:

  • Tribal gaming operations in California generated an estimated $8 billion in economic output in 2012—$2.9 billion of which represented earnings by California workers—and supported over 56,000 jobs statewide.
  • Tribal gaming expenditures totaled roughly $62.8 million per tribe in 2012 and consisted predominantly of advertising, administration, food and drink, and gaming expenditures.
  • Tribal non-gaming operations in California generated an estimated $2.3 billion in economic output in 2012, supporting over 14,800 jobs statewide, and adding $1.2 billion in value to the state economy—of which $804.6 million represented income for California workers.
  • Statewide revenue sharing for tribes without casinos generated more than $100 million in economic output for California and supported 433 jobs statewide in 2012.

Additional information about the findings and the study in its entirety can be viewed at