Expectations of Indian Reservation Gaming:
Vol. Volume 8, Number 2 June/2003
Craig S. Galbraith, Curt H. Stiles
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 permitted casino gambling on Indian reservations for the purpose of economic development based on an expectation that it would, among other things, stimulate entrepreneurial activity. This paper places reservation gaming expectations within the deeply traditional context of Indian economies and against the historic backdrop of past tribal failures to adapt to a changing environment. Assessment of gaming activity in a small interview sample reveals only minor accomplishments to date and raises questions about the appropriate theoretical model under which entrepreneurial activity can be expected. We suggest that casino revenues be viewed as export earnings in a regional economic base model and conclude that tribes should give more attention to political adaptability. The perspective is that of Southern California tribes with comparisons to Arizona tribes.