Conner & Taggart on the Impact of Gaming on Indian Nations Nationally

Thaddieus W. Conner and William A. Taggart have published “Assessing the Impact of Indian Gaming on American Indian Nations: Is the House Winning?” in Social Science Quarterly. Send me an email if you need a copy.

Abstract here:

Objective. The objective of this article is to examine the impact of Indian gaming on reservation conditions in the contiguous American states following passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. Methods. Utilizing 1990 and 2000 Census data for 330 Indian nations, a pretest/posttest design permits a comparison of nongaming nations to three different types of gaming nations on eight economic measures, while controlling for multiple tribal characteristics and considering the effects of certain state contextual factors confronting nations due to location. Results. The analysis reveals (1) that the overall impact of gaming, while generally positive, is not as extensive after controlling for certain tribal features, (2) that there are differential effects evident across the three types of gaming nations, and (3) that the state context makes a difference in influencing the relationship between gaming and reservation conditions. The most substantial impacts are for a small subset of nations with Class III gaming and making per capita payments to their members in larger, wealthier states prohibiting non-Indian casinos. Conclusion. These results challenge some of the core assumptions about Indian gaming radically changing the poor economic conditions endemic to Indian country.

You may recall these authors previously published a paper focused on New Mexico.

Conner & Taggart on the Impact of Gaming on New Mexico Tribes

Thaddieus W. Conner and William A. Taggart have published “The Impact of Gaming on the Indian Nations of New Mexico” in the Social Science Quarterly (conner-taggart-the-impact-of-gaming-on-nm-tribes). Here is the abstract:


This study examines the economic and social impact of Indian gaming on the residents of the 22 pueblos and tribes in New Mexico.


We employ a naturally occurring quasi-experimental design that classifies each of the Indian Nations into one of two groups, gaming and nongaming, depending on the continuous operation of a “Las Vegas” style casino for multiple years in the 1990s. For these two groups we compare aggregate, primarily U.S. Census, data spanning 25 indicators in both 1990 and 2000.


Although improvements were evident for both groups, nine of the 12 economic measures and six of the 13 social measures revealed a growing disparity favoring gaming nations during the 1990s, while six other measures suggested declining but continuing differences. These findings persisted in light of controls for population and urbanization, though many of the economic differences disappeared for the rural nations.


Gaming has had a positive economic and social impact on the gaming pueblos and tribes in New Mexico, especially for the more urbanized nations. The gaming nations are enjoying higher incomes, lower levels of poverty, and improvements in selected social areas compared to those nations opting not to pursue casino gaming in the 1990s.