Economic Impact

Everyone Wins: The Positive Impacts of Tribal Gaming on North Dakota’s Economy

The economic impact of tribal gaming goes far beyond the doors of the casino.

Stop for a moment and think about the vehicles that deliver meat and produce to the restaurants; the laundry trucks that provide linens for the motels and uniforms for the staff; the plumbers, electricians, and heating and air experts who help ensure a safe and comfortable environment.

While patrons depend on casinos for gaming and fun, the economic ripple effect of these entertainment venues reaches deep into the surrounding communities and the businesses that supply them goods and services.

Now think about all the people it takes to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly – the gaming experts, hospitality staff and maintenance crews. Tribal gaming is often the largest employer on a reservation, providing reliable employment and the steady source of income needed to support a family.

The third leg of this three-legged stool is the use of casino revenues, which flow back to tribal members in the form of healthcare, education and social services. Many of these essential services were not available on tribal lands prior to the self-sustainability gained by the generation of tribal gaming income.

How important is gaming to tribal nations and the state of North Dakota?

Detailed information is included in the 2020 Economic & Workforce Impact Study. Key findings include:

  • The annual estimated gross revenues generated by tribal casinos in North Dakota exceeds $300 million.
  • Direct employment and jobs created in other industries that provide goods and services to the casinos is estimated at 3,000 FTE (full-time equivalent) positions.
  • Full-time tribal casino employees in North Dakota earned an average of $45,000 in 2019.
  • Total annual operating expenditures for all tribal casinos in North Dakota exceeds $225 million.
  • The total annual economic output of tribal casinos in North Dakota is close to $340 million when an economic multiplier of 1.5 is applied.