Arizona gaming tribes celebrate positive impact of tribal gaming because

Many Arizonans may be surprised to learn that tribal gaming here has generated nearly a billion dollars for education, health care, public safety and tourism for Arizona communities. This benefit for the state and local governments was made possible more than 10 years ago through voter approved Proposition 202, which created compacts between the state and the tribes to dedicate a portion of gaming revenues, via the Arizona Benefits Fund, to support programs and initiatives that impact health care, education, tourism and conservation in Arizona.

This ad is part of a a new multi-media campaign that highlights the incredible outcomes of the compact, and how the monies have helped some of Arizona's most important community priorities.

"The tribes signed compacts with the state in 2002 to share gaming revenues so all Arizona communities could benefit from the opportunity that we hoped gaming would bring," said Ronnie Lupe, chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, "Now, 10 years later, the impact of the Arizona Benefits Fund has surpassed even our hopeful expectations."

Over the past 10 years, Arizona school districts have received more than $386 million from the Fund, which has supported early reading; drop out prevention and instructional improvement programs. Hospitals and health care systems have received nearly $200 million for trauma and emergency services statewide. And, about $56 million has gone to the Arizona Wildlife and Conservation Fund, to support natural habitats for wildlife and endangered species.

The Benefits Fund also supports the Office of Problem Gambling to support programs that address gambling addition, and the Arizona Department of Gaming, the state agency that regulates gaming activities in Arizona and is responsible for administering the Arizona Benefits Fund, in collaboration with the participating tribes.

"In addition to the monies provided through the Arizona Benefits Fund, which supports efforts that often have statewide impact, the tribes gaming revenues also support local communities through a local grant process," said Valerie Spicer, executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association. "These funds have supported a variety of programs, including funding Yuma Community Food Bank to feed hungry families; supporting the Families of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots; investing in Arizona's biomedical research efforts, which has developed life-saving techniques and enhanced our economic diversification; providing $300,000 to complete a shelter for abused women and children in Maricopa County; and donating a million dollars to Chandler Regional Medical Center to alleviate a critical hospital bed shortage in the East Valley, " added Spicer. "It's been gratifying to see all of Arizona benefit from the compacts and achieve goals that otherwise may not have been realized, if not for the support of tribal gaming."

The compacts also provide revenue sharing with each other through a machine allotment/transfer provision. This provision allows small tribes who do not have the ability to build or operate a casino, to share in gaming revenues to help meet the needs of their tribal members. The Havasupai Tribe, for example, is located in the Grand Canyon. They will likely never build a gaming facility; yet desperately need resources and funding for their members. Their compact allows them to share gaming revenues with other gaming tribes to provide things like firewood for their elders and families during the winter, and prescription eyeglasses for all tribal members.

The gaming tribes that have compacts with the state and are members of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association are: Ak-Chin Indian Community, Cocopah Tribe, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Havasupai Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O'odham Nation, White Mountain Apache Tribe, Yavapai Apache Nation and Zuni Tribe.

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The ad and media campaign was produced by Avant Strategies in Phoenix, Arizona, for the Arizona Indian Gaming Association.

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