THE DALLES, Oregon – Indian gaming is a big plus for Oregon’s economy. Since 2012, the national industry has grown at a rate of three per cent a year for a total of $31.2 billion. Oregon’s nine federally-recognized tribes currently operate eight casinos in the state.
Regional economist Dallas Fridley says that not only pumps revenue into Tribal governments, it also has a favorable impact on the employment picture over a total of 15 counties in the state.
“In the region that Oregon’s in there are 52 gaming operations and they generated $3.2 billion in revenues,” he said.
Oregon’s first casino opened in 1992. Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Indian Head, and Spirit Mountain are among the casinos that were open by 1995.
Fridley says that the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation leads the state in diversifying its gaming industry revenues.
“They have more than just the casino operations,” he said. “Cayuse Technology is an example of an enterprise that they’ve entered into, and the truck stop. I think the Umatilla Tribe is a lot farther along as far as economic development and diversifying their employment base than a lot of other tribes are that have primarily focused on tribal gaming.”