Indian casinos make good neighbors according to studies by Harvard
University and the Rose Institute of State and Local Government.

Researchers in both studies found that Indian gaming helps, not hurts surrounding communities by creating good-paying jobs, boosting economic activity, increasing tax revenues and decreasing dependence on public assistance.

According to the Harvard study: “Indian gaming is not only a development tool that poorer-than-average tribes have used to pull ahead … it is a tool of development by which tribes have improved the economic lot of their non-Indian neighbors …”

The impact was so positive that the study called Indian gaming tribes and their surrounding non-Indian neighbors “natural allies.”

Among the benefits to both communities:
Unemployment and public assistance decreased among Indians and non-Indians
Revenues from state and federal income taxes and payroll taxes increased, making more money available to local governments
Auto theft and robbery decreased in communities with Indian casinos

The Harvard study concludes that benefits to Indians and non-Indians are so great, tribes and
state governments need not be adversaries when negotiating compacts for casinos. Instead,
Indian gaming can be seen as a useful tool for economic development in poorer and rural areas.


The Rose Institute study, which focused on California's Riverside County, found that Indian gaming greatly improved the economies of many non-Indian communities throughout the county.

According to the study, tribal governments’ operations in Riverside County:
Created over 54,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in payments to individuals
Resulted in over $1.1 billion in purchases of local goods and services
Generated $344 million in federal and state income and payroll taxes
Reduced the need for public assistance from local and state governments