Indian Gaming Considered Among Oklahoma's Biggest Industries

Aug 7, 2017

Credit KWGS File photo

Indian gaming has a $7.2 billion economic impact on Oklahoma.

The chair of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association, however, thinks that year-old-number is low.

"A report just came out that gaming growth in Oklahoma is up almost 5 percent last year, so it'd be reasonable to say we're an almost $10 billion economic impact for Oklahoma in 2016," said OIGA Chair David Qualls.

By the numbers, 31 Oklahoma tribes operate casinos, employing 28,000 people altogether. More than half those workers, 56 percent, are non-tribal members.

Qualls is not worried about online gaming taking a bite out of the industry.

"You'll always have brick-and-mortar gaming establishments because we're an entertainment facility," Qualls said. "People have a desire to be entertained, and that reaches outside the walls of their homes."