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How Arizona Tribal Communities Benefit from Their Casinos

The Arizona Tribal Gaming Regulators Alliance (ATGRA) oversees the regulatory bodies of native Arizona casinos. The ATGRA consists of executive directors and commissioners from Arizona tribal regulatory agencies. Every gaming tribe is represented. 

Native Americans are associated with casinos more than any other group in the United States. Tribal communities are stereotypically associated with heavy gambling. However, you may fail to understand how they benefit from these casinos. Here is how Arizona tribal communities benefit from their casinos. 

To learn more about the ATGRA and the Arizona Gaming Commission, check out the comprehensive guide at

Why Tribal Communities Set Up Tribal Casinos

Native Americans hold the status of conquered states. American puritan settlers sent them out of their fertile land and relegated them to poor lands. They could no longer continue with agriculture as they no longer had access to arable lands. 

Native American tribes demanded freedom to run casinos within their territories as a response to the low quality of life they were subjected to. The Federal Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA) of 1998 gave them the status. 

It recognized them as sovereign entities. Many tribes started setting up tribal casinos even in states that prohibited casinos. The tribes use proceeds from these casinos to take care of themselves. 

How Do Arizona Tribal Communities Benefit From these Casinos?

Every Arizona tribe controls its own casinos. Although the Arizona Department of Gaming oversights the casino, there are 16 tribal regulators. They are responsible for overseeing fair and safe gambling. 

Part of the gaming revenue from Arizona tribal communities is shared with individuals within the tribes. These casinos support the communities by supporting buildings, education, and services. They provide thousands of employment opportunities every year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they create almost 100,000 jobs. 

While 12% of the revenue is distributed to the counties and towns, 88% goes to the Arizona Benefits Fund during every quarter. It funds the ADG and the Problem Gambling division. 

Other funds are directed to instructional improvement for emergency care, schools, tourism, trauma, and wildlife conservation. 

Contributions of Arizona Tribal Gaming Hit Record Levels In 2022

According to the Arizona Department of Gaming, contributions from Tribal gaming in the state hit over $123.6 million for the fiscal year ending in June. This was one of the biggest contributions ever made. 

Robert Miguel, the Arizona Indian Gaming Association chairman, described it as an exciting milestone that would be cherished for a long time. He expressed the desire to keep supporting and protecting Tribal sovereignty through Tribal casinos. 

Based on the compacts the tribes have with the state, they can own and operate their casinos. However, they must contribute part of their revenue to Arizona. 

Arizona has 24 tribal casinos operated by 16 federally-recognized tribal nations. The others may not have casinos within Arizona, but they lease their slot machine rights to other tribes. 

Tribal Casinos in Arizona

Arizona is a lot like Nevada. They are both sunny states that attract retirees. The two states also share a history of mineral mining. In addition, both Arizona and Nevada have fantastic casino industries. Here are a few tribal casinos in Arizona to consider checking out. 

  • Talking Stick 

This gorgeous Red Rock wonderland is the unrivaled casino king of Arizona. Built-in 2010, Talking Stick invites you in with a shimmering neon tower and luxurious atmosphere. With 15 stories, it is the highest casino-adjacent hotel tower in Arizona. 

The property holds the 36-hole Talking Stick Golf Club. If you love hitting the links, consider bringing your bag of clubs. You can cool off in the gorgeous outdoor swimming pool when it gets too hot. 

Inside, there is a modern casino that looks like something right out of Las Vegas. You can enjoy gorgeous décor, concierge service, bars, and cafes. Other entertainment options include five restaurants, four indoor pools, six concert lounges, and a large buffet. 

This casino’s gaming floor sits on almost 100,000 square feet. It has all the whistles and bells you could imagine. With almost 900 video poker and slot machines, this casino has some of the newest games. 

There are 55 tables in the pit for Three Card Poker, blackjack, and Let It Ride. The ARENA Poker Room is fantastic as well. It is packed with hundreds of players hoping to play No-Limit Texas Hold’em. Talking Stick is a casino you must check out when visiting the Valley of the Sun. 

  • BlueWater Resort and Casino, Parker

The biggest attraction for this casino is right in its name. It is on the banks of the Colorado River in Parker. The casino looks magical. There is a parking lot on one side and a full-scale boat dock on the other side. Bluewater is picture-perfect. You can enjoy beautiful views of the Colorado River as you place bets. The Wakeboarder Island is within walking distance. 

Bluewater Resort and Casino is the perfect choice if you are looking for a picturesque destination. 

  • Twin Arrows Casino Resort, Flagstaff

Although Arizona is known for its summer heat and warm climate, it has a lot more to offer on the climate front. Two and half hours north of Scottsdale, you’ll find the ski slopes of Flagstaff and pine forests. 

The whitecapped San Francisco Peaks, standing at 6,909 feet, are a snowbird’s fantasy. 

Since Twin Arrows opened its doors in 2013, it is one of Arizona’s newest land-based casinos. It is lavish, upscale, and filled with amenities that stand out. The gambling options and amenities make it a truly elite gaming platform

The biggest attraction of Twin Arrows is in the unique scenic appeal of the surrounding area. It gives you a completely different perspective of Arizona because of its proximity to Flagstaff’s Snow Bowl ski area. 

In conclusion, the Arizona tribal communities have some great casinos. The casinos are not only attractive but also a reliable source of revenue. The revenue benefits both the state and individual tribes. Some of the best tribal casinos in Arizona include Twin Arrows Casino resort, Talking Stick, and Bluewater Resort and Casino. 


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