Tribal Government Gaming in Oklahoma began several decades ago with simple bingo halls situated in retrofitted buildings. Today, 31 Tribal Nations in Oklahoma currently operate almost 130 with approximately 72,850 electronic games, almost 5,300 bingo seats and other games. Tribal Government Gaming operations include 20 casinos with hotels/resorts with a combined total of more than 5,000 rooms, and almost 500,000 square feet of meeting, function and entertainment space.
Other related ancillary facilities and amenities include almost 200 restaurants and bars, nine golf courses with a total of 126 holes, five spas, seven RV parks with nearly 375 sites, more than 50 gas and convenience stores as well as destination and convenience retail, several bowling centers, laser tag and a movie complex.
Oklahoma has the second largest Native American population in the United States, behind only California. According to the 2010 Census, 482,760 Oklahomans identified as Native American alone or in combination with other races.
Tribal Gaming Timeline
- 1992 – First tribal/state compact is signed; allows only pari-mutuel horse race wagers at tribal casino.
- 1992 to 2000 – Tribes focus on maximizing Class II games, including continued development of electronic aids for Class II games.
- 2004 – Some uncertainties remained, so tribes and state discussed expanded compacts to allow for skill games and card games. The proposed compact that was the result of negotiations between the Governor and Tribes was put on the ballot as State Question 712. The compact applies to Class III gaming only.
- 2009 – Oklahoma led the nation in the growth rate of tribal gaming.