PHOENIX, AZ – In a press conference at the Arizona State Capitol, the Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA) announced that the state is expected to reach $2 billion in contributions to the Arizona Benefits Fund by the second quarter of 2023, generated through tribal gaming revenue.
“Through tribal gaming, we have been able to fund vital programs essential to advancing and improving the lives of all Arizonans,” said Robert Miguel, Chairman of the Ak-Chin Indian Community and AIGA. “It’s difficult to imagine what our state would look like without the significant contributions of our Indian gaming communities.”
The Arizona Benefits Fund helps to support instructional improvement in schools, trauma and emergency care, tourism, and wildlife conservation throughout the state. Arizona Department of Gaming reported $27,607,589 in contributions for the first quarter of fiscal 2023, bringing the total amount of tribal contributions to over $1.98 billion since 2004.
In addition to Chairman Miguel, Chairwoman Sherry Cordova of the Cocopah Tribe and Arizonans for Tribal Government Gaming; Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs; and City of Glendale Councilman Jamie Aldama offered remarks, with many tribal and city leaders in attendance.
“I was honored to be at this historic event, which marked an important milestone in the State of Arizona’s relationship with tribal gaming,” said Governor Hobbs. “There can be no doubt that this partnership has had lasting, positive impact in the areas that are important to the growth and sustainability of our communities.”
The impending milestone was celebrated with a cultural presentation by the Hualapai Tribe, color guard posting by American Legion Post #114 Bushmasters of the Salt River Pima- Maricopa Indian Community, and blessing by Councilman Edward Wemytewa of the Pueblo of Zuni. Governor Hobbs, City of Glendale Councilman Jamie Aldama, and tribal leaders spoke about the importance of tribal gaming and its successes.
“This was a significant event that brought to life the impact that tribal gaming has had all across our great state,” said Chairwoman Cordova. “We are grateful to Governor Hobbs and the city and tribal leaders who took the time to share their stories and show their support for tribal gaming in Arizona.”
AIGA supports Indian gaming in Arizona by advocating, educating, partnering, and promoting tribal government gaming to benefit tribes and all of Arizona. Tribal gaming continues to provide for tribal communities through employment, education, enhanced services to tribal members, and other economic development opportunities.
Arizona Benefits Fund receives 88 percent of tribal gaming contributions. Since 2004, tribal gaming has contributed to the following areas:
- Instructional improvement/education: $877 million
- Emergency services and trauma: $438 million
- Cities, towns, counties: $219 million
- Tourism: $125 million
- Arizona wildlife conservation: $125 million
- Arizona Department of Gaming operating costs and problem gambling education, treatment, and prevention: $203 million