Fueled By Casinos, Idaho Tribal Businesses Have $1 Billion Economic Impact

Feb 24, 2015

A new study says Idaho's five tribes play a major role in the state's economy. Casinos are a big part of that.
Credit David G. Steadman / Flickr Creative Commons

A new study says the five tribes of Idaho play a major role in the state’s economy. The study was put together by University of Idaho research economist Steve Peterson. It says the five tribes have a $1.1 billion annual sales impact on the Gem State’s economy.

The five tribes collectively raise the gross state product by $653 million, or about 1 percent of the gross state product in 2013.

Steve Peterson says a big portion of the money comes from tribal casinos, which have also helped to foster partnerships with local businesses and governments.

“It’s helped give them a sense of independence, foster a sense of entrepreneurship," says Peterson. [It's] helped the tribes realize they can shape their own future and their destiny.”

The study found that more than half million people visit tribal casinos in Idaho per year, and 60 percent of those visitors are from out of state, adding new money to the state’s economy.

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