Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association touts results of economic impact study

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s education funding garnered more than $1 billion in the last decade as a result of earmarked contributions from Tribal Governmental Gaming, according to the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA).

During an event Tuesday (November 17) at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, the OIGA released findings from the 2015 Inaugural “Statewide Economic Impact from Oklahoma Tribal Governmental Gaming” study.

“We are thrilled to share the results of this important study, and happy to have such a great story to tell about our vital and growing industry,” said Brian Foster, Chairman of OIGA.

“We are very proud of the enormous contribution our Oklahoma Tribes in gaming have been able to make to education and look forward to that number growing substantially in the coming years. With our continued commitment to financially supporting education in Oklahoma, we want to become a driving force in making our state’s education system one others want to emulate.’’

Summarized highlights of the new study include:

* The total estimated impact on Oklahoma from gaming was nearly $6.2 billion in 2014.
* $1 billion deposited into the 1017 FundEducation, Reform Revolving Fund and Higher Learning Access Funds in the ten years since gaming was approved by a statewide vote.
* Tribal Governmental Gaming is now Oklahoma’s 19th largest employment sector.
* In 2014, Tribal Gaming* supported 23,277 jobs; 19,523 of which were full-time positions.
* Tribal gaming workers* earned $1.16 billion in wages and benefits in 2014.
* More than $264 million in State and Federal payroll taxes were paid by gaming workers* in 2014 (*Includes ancillary and related facilities).

The study was conducted and co-authored by the Steven C. Agee Economic Research and Policy Institute and KlasRobinson Q.E.D. for the OIGA. The Institute is based at Oklahoma City University. The full analysis can be accessed here.

Among attendees at the event were: B. Edwin Butler-Wolfe, Governor of the Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; Elaine Hock, Chairwoman of the Kaw Nation; Larry Boggs, Oklahoma State Senator Larry Boggs, R-District 7; Preston Doerflinger, Oklahoma State Secretary of Finance, Administration and Information Technology’ Don Tice, First Vice President of the Oklahoma State School Boards Association. and Thomas Cunningham, National Indian Gaming Commission.

The full text of “Statewide Economic Impact from Oklahoma Tribal Governmental Gaming” is available at www.oiga.org. OIGA is described in organizational literature as “a non-profit organization of Indian Nations engaged in tribal gaming enterprises from around Oklahoma. Its mission is to promote the general welfare of the Oklahoma Indian Tribes through the development of sound policies and practices with respect to the conduct of gaming enterprises in Indian Country.”