Using data from the 1990 and 2000 U.S. Census of Population and Housing, we examine five social and economic characteristics of individuals and households living on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico that have a casino to those that do not. This research differs in two ways from previous studies that have attempted to assess the social and economic impacts of Indian gaming. First, the unit of observation and analysis is the reservation, not a tribe. A focus on reservations allows us to assess the role casinos play in "place-based" economic development. Second, since reservations and tribes are not coterminous, we seek to differentiate the effects of casinos on the Indian population living on reservations from the effects for all reservation residents (Indians and others). The results show that casino gambling is associated with improvements in social and economic welfare for both the Indian and non-Indian populations alike. However, Indian gaming did not contribute to positive outcomes in all cases. Indeed, the effects of gaming are filtered through a myriad of structural and cultural contexts that shape who wins and who loses when a casino opens on a reservation. The implications of Indian gaming for economic development are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science