The Importance and Facts About Indian Gaming

In 2009, more than 24.5 million Americans visited Indian casinos and they saw firsthand the progress that Indian tribes are making. Nationwide, there are 237 Indian tribes in 28 states use gaming to create new jobs, fund essential government services and rebuild communities. Here are some of the statistics compiled from various tribes across the US that tells an exciting story of success:

• $26.2 Billion in gross revenue.

• $3.2 Billion in gross revenue from related hospitality and entertainment services.

• 628,000 jobs nationwide for American Indians and our neighbors.

• $9.4 Billion in Federal taxes and revenue savings.

• $2.4 Billion in state taxes, revenue sharing, and regulatory payments.

Important history about Indian Casinos and Indian Sovereignty. Long before Columbus arrived in America, Indian tribes were independent sovereigns. From the first days of the Republic, the United States acknowledged the sovereign authority of Indian tribes. In 1778, the first Indian treaty recognized tribal rights of self-government and the Constitution affirms the sovereign status of Indian tribes in both the Treaty and Indian Commerce Clauses.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) protects gaming as a means to promote “tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments.” Across America, schools and hospitals are being built, dirt roads are being paved, and safe drinking water flows-sometimes for the first time. The benefits of Indian gaming are far reaching and extend in many directions.

Regulation. No one has a greater interest in the integrity of Indian gaming than Tribal Governments. Today, Indian gaming is the Native American success story. Tribal governments use their net gaming revenues to fund essential government services-education, health care, police and fire protection, water and sewer service, transportation, child and elder care. And to build basic community infrastructure, schools, hospitals, water systems, and roads. Tribal governments also give generously to charitable causes totaling over $150 million annually.

According to the NIGA, in 2009 Tribal governments spent over $350 million to fund regulation of their industry which provided over 628,000 jobs nationwide. Of the $350 million, Tribal governments spent $260 million to fund regulation of their gaming facilities. Tribal governments also provided $80 million to States to fund regulation. Tribal Governments have adopted Casino Industry Standards and Internal Controls, Tribal Governments must comply with the Title 31 (Bank Secrecy Act). Additionally, Indian Nations have created extensive security and surveillance networking systems to exchange intelligence and monitor casinos.

Federal Agencies with oversight relationships to Indian gaming including the FBI, the IRS, the U.S. Attorneys, the U.S. Marshals, Attorneys General, Secret Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Tribal-State Gaming Compacts provide the states with regulatory power in Indian gaming, though IGRA recognizes that the federal government has primary responsibility for government-to-government relations with sovereign Indian Nations. Most states have a state gaming office providing for the regulation of gaming in the state. The degree of state regulation varies from state to state according to each state-tribal government compact.

History of Gambling and Transformation Into Gaming

Gambling is something that many of us today cannot run away from. It has been in existence for thousands of years and is not about to go anywhere. Some even say that it is intrinsically linked to humanity itself meaning that gambling is well within our very own human nature.

Gambling is the wagering or money or anything else of value with the primary goal of winning a material object or money. The wager is often placed with the consciousness of the risk the gambler is taking. For gambling to take place, three elements must be present, which is the consideration or amount wagered; the risk and the prize. Today gambling has evolved into what is now looked at as modern day gaming and is even regulated in most countries and licensed by gaming authorities. It has truly become a, international commercial activity and is said to contribute millions to economies.

History

Gambling can be traced back to as early as before history was written or as early as 3000BC with the six sided dice. Its history can be traced to ancient China where betting on animals fighting was a common practice. It was not until the 10th century that lottos and domino games appeared in China and gambling started to take its shape. The popular games that we know today like poker appeared in the United States in the 17th Century and they say; the rest is really history.

When gambling became mechanized it became easier for the winnings to be regulated more accurately and for the odds to be in everyone’s favour. No more did people have to rely on the goodness of the betting houses since the machine basically determined the outcome.

Online Gambling/Gaming

The breakthrough for online gambling came in 1994 when Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade and Processing Act into Law allowing the licensing of organizations applying to open casinos online. Between then and 1996 a number of laws were passed all of which were directed to online gambling and in 2003, the first live dealer casino was introduced.

Gaming today

The more technology has advanced, the more the gambling industry has also evolved with developments being made geared towards making the lie of the gamer much easier. Given how lucrative the gaming industry is and the fact that people actually like to play, many governments have had no choice but to allow gaming and only control the industry through licensing. There are numerous online casinos in the world today, the best of which are licensed in the various areas within which they practice.

The gaming industry has fast evolved a number of games are now available online and many jackpots can be won from various sites. The only word to players today is to make sure that they are sure to play with an online casino that is licensed and which has a good reputation or which is properly established.

If you have doubts about the reputation of some online casino, visit a website which offers independent casino reviews on the gaming industry today.

Fox Lake IL Gaming Laws

As early as 2009, 3 years before Fox Lake adopted the 230 ILCS 40 (code for the new video gaming laws), Ed Bender, the then Fox Lake Mayor had seen both sides of the coin regarding the video gaming act. If enacted, he said it might bring the town a bad reputation but at the same time, perhaps it would also attract video gaming enthusiasts from neighboring towns and states where video gambling was illegal. Today, seven years later, video gambling has done more good than harm for Fox Lake and its community. And true to his words, many businesses have sprung up back to their feet. Business data shows that the enactment of this legislation has been good for the whole of Illinois and more local governments are adopting this new law.

By 2012, Fox Lake was waiting for the Illinois Gaming Board to finalize its regulations for the state-run video gaming network so that qualifying business people in the village could apply for their video gaming licenses. Thus, Fox Lake is one of the towns in Illinois that adopted the new video gaming regulations as soon as the law was enacted. How has this affected business in Fox Lake? Many proprietors say they have benefited greatly as we will see later in this article.

At the time, many people thought it was good news – they were right

In 2008, the Illinois smoking ban had gone into effect and it had affected many businesses, with some tavern owners reporting up to 30% less business. However, there was a silver lining in the cloud with the enactment of the 230 ILCS 40 because it would bring back business and compensate the owners for the business they had lost since the smoking ban went into effect.

In a board meeting involving business people and Fox Lake leaders, 10 business people asked the leaders to vote in favor of adopting the new video gaming laws.

But the laws were not accepted from the word go without opposition. Mike Behan, the then Police Chief for Fox Lake had written to the board showing his concerns about the intended adoption of the law. Among his concerns was that legalized video gambling would cause more alcoholism, financial problems in the local families and drunken driving. He was also fearing an increase in embezzlement and fraud cases but he did say that the police would consent to whatever the board voted for.

So, after the adoption of the new video gaming law of Illinois in 2012, has Chief Mike Behan been proved right or has the former mayor been vindicated by an increase in business? All of the evidence available points to the latter. You can confidently conclude that the Fox Lake adoption of the new Illinois video gambling laws was well advised and that it has brought more financial benefits than harm to the locals.

October 2012 to October 2013

The state of Illinois passed the law legalizing video gambling in 2009. Under the new law, fraternal organizations, truck stops, bars, veterans groups and restaurants could set up to 5 terminals in their establishments. They would however have to get a license for each terminal from the Illinois Gaming Board. From 2009, it took a further three years to streamline the regulation but when everything fell into place, Fox Lake was one of the first places to get on the state-run video gaming network, in 2012.

In the first year of approving video gambling licenses in the suburb, the city officials had only budgeted for $12,000 but to their pleasant surprise, the amount of money that video gaming raked in for them was many times more than that, at a handsome $93,338. This revenue was used for funding the Pace Bus program and since then, video gaming revenue has been directed to huge improvements in the village. For a small place like Fox Lake to earn more than $90K in the first year of operation, it shows that there is a lot of potential in video gambling and that is what prompted the licensing authorities to license more establishments to host video gaming terminals.

Fox Lake establishments that have video gaming terminals

Many businesses have enjoyed the benefits of legalized video gambling. One of these businesses is Stella’s Place that offers restaurant services as well as video gaming services. But it is the gaming experience that you will get there that is so outstanding, with more than 40 of video poker games and slots. The beautiful ambience and the good food add to the warmth of the place, attracting more diners and gamers.

It is open every day from 8.00Am to 2.00AM and while it has many items on the menu, gaming is the main course. It is the ideal entertainment place for grownups who want to have a video poker experience to try their luck.

J’s Sports Bar and Grill in Fox Lake has also been a big beneficiary from the proceeds raked in from video gaming. The owner of this establishment once said that video gaming saved the business from closing. Video gaming with voucher payments is now one of the biggest attractions on the J’s Sports Bar menu.

Fox Lake Country Club has 5 gaming terminals, the maximum number that is allowed by the law. The total amount won here is $8,421,675.44 so far. This establishment offers an 18-hole golf course and because it is open to the public, it is a very popular venue for summer vacations and video gaming.

Hidden Point Bar & Grill offers video poker from its three video gambling terminals. This is in accompaniment to some of the tastiest Mexican pork tacos that you will ever taste in the world. The total amount of money won at these three terminals comes up to more than $1.5 million.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the 2012 decision to allow Fox Lake to get on the state-run video gaming network was a good decision for all parties involved. Business has grown exponentially with some proprietors saying that having video gaming terminals in their establishments saved them from closing down. The local and state governments have also benefitted by getting more revenue to run community programs for the benefit of their citizens. With legalized video gambling in the state of Illinois, more income and better business opportunities have been generated.