Despite debate about how Native American casinos impact Tribal members, a new study has found that casinos have improved both health and health care of Native Americans.
The study, The Income and Health Effects of Tribal Casino Gaming on American Indians, was conducted by a group from the Institute for Research on Poverty. Approximately 24,000 Native Americans were included, with data drawn from 1988 to 2003.
The researchers found that casinos raised household income by an average of 5.3%. Health benefits included:
- 9.6% decrease in smoking
- 7.3% decrease in anxiety
- Probability of heavy drinking reduced by about 5.2%, and
- Probability of being obese or overweight, having hypertension or diabetes by between 2% and 4%.