Tulsa, Okla. – The Oklahoma gaming industry is strutting its stuff today and tomorrow at the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association's 16th annual conference and trade show. Vendors from across the country have gathered at the Tulsa Convention Center to showcase the latest in gaming and casino management technologies.
OIGA chairman David Qualls said it estimates gaming to be Oklahoma's fourth largest employer.
"There is so much indirect benefit from Indian gaming in Oklahoma now that just about every profession has something to do with the gaming industry," he said. "We have approximately a three-and-a-half billion dollar annual economic impact on the state of Oklahoma, and that's billion' with a b.'"
Qualls said Indian gaming is doing well, despite stormy economic conditions.
"Gaming in Oklahoma has grown some 12% over the last year, according to state records," he said. "When the state had to cut education funding, Indian gaming has helped shore that up."
That is because Oklahoma approved State Question 712 in 2004, resulting in the State-Tribal Gaming Act. The Act created a partnership between state and Indian gaming and includes a provision that a portion of gaming revenue goes to education.
Qualls said the number one question people have about the gaming industry is whether it is honest.
"We realize that if we can't run a clean game, a game with great integrity, we can't attract the customers," he said.
The conference offers, among other things, the latest solutions to questions about game accountability.
The conference runs till 4 p.m. tomorrow.