Arizona Indian Gaming Preservation and Self-Reliance, Proposition 202 (2002)

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Proposition 202, known as the "Indian Gaming Preservation and Self-Reliance Act, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in Arizona as an initiated state statute. It was approved.[1]

Election results

Indian Gaming Preservation and Self-Reliance
Approveda Yes 610,900 50.9%
Election results from Arizona Elections Department.

Text of measure

Descriptive title

The description on the ballot said:

Authorizes agreements between Arizona tribes and the State to allow for the continuation of limited, regulated gaming on tribal lands. Shares revenues from Indian gaming with tribes that don't have casinos. Dedicates part of Indian gaming revenues to support local school districts statewide and other public services and programs, including trauma and emergency services, wildlife and habitat conservation, tourism promotion, prevention of problem gambling and local government services. Sets specific limits on the number of gaming machines, types of games, gaming facilities and bets allowed at Indian gaming facilities. Provides for additional regulatory oversight by Arizona Department of Gaming.[2][3]

Legislative analysis

The summary from the Legislative Council read:

Proposition 202 directs the Governor to enter into tribal gaming compacts allowing Indian tribes to operate slot machines and card and table games on tribal land. Tribes would contribute 1% to 8% of "gross gaming revenue" (defined as the difference between gaming wins and losses, before deducting costs and expenses) to the state to fund programs for problem gambling, classroom size reduction, teacher salary increases, dropout prevention, instructional improvement, trauma and emergency services, wildlife conservation, tourism and local government programs benefiting the general public. These distributions are outside the regular legislative process.

Arizona has entered into gaming compacts with 17 of the state's 21 Indian tribes. These compacts permit the tribes to operate specific gaming activities, including slot machines, that are, according to a federal court decision on appeal, illegal off of Indian reservations. These compacts begin to expire in the summer of 2003.

Proposition 202 directs the Governor to enter into a new gaming compact with each Indian tribe that requests it. All compacts must have the following provisions:

  • Term - Remainder of the tribe's current compact plus 10 years. Will be renewed for 10 years (unless the state or tribe notify the other of cancellation due to substantial noncompliance) plus an additional 3 years to provide an opportunity for negotiation of a new compact.
  • Facilities - Each tribe may operate 1 to 4 gaming facilities. The exact number that each tribe may operate is set forth in Proposition 202.
  • Games - Tribes may offer slot machines, blackjack, poker, wagering on horse and dog races, lottery games, bingo and keno. Each tribe may operate 475 to 1400 slot machines. Each tribe's allotment of slot machines is set forth in Proposition 202. Each tribe may operate 75 to 100 gaming tables at each facility, depending on how close the facility is to a heavily populated city. Tribes may offer no more than 2 keno games at each facility. The number of slot machines and gaming tables allowed increases every 5 years based on changes in the state's population.
  • Transfer provisions - Tribes may transfer a portion or all of their slot machine allotments to other tribes.
  • Revenue - Each tribe must contribute 1% to 8% of the tribe's gross gaming revenue to the state. 88% of each tribe's contribution will go to the Arizona Benefits Fund. Monies in the fund are to be used for reimbursement of administrative and regulatory expenses incurred by the Arizona Department of Gaming, to combat problem gambling, for distribution to school districts for classroom size reduction, teacher salary increases, dropout prevention programs and instructional improvement programs, for distribution to hospitals to reimburse them for unrecovered costs for trauma and emergency services, for wildlife conservation and for statewide tourism promotion. 12% of each tribe's contribution will be distributed to cities, towns and counties to provide government services that benefit the general public.
  • Disclosure - The director of the Arizona Department of Gaming will make an annual report each year which includes the aggregate gross gaming revenue for all tribes, the aggregate of all revenues deposited in the Arizona Benefits Fund and aggregate amounts contributed by tribes to cities, towns and counties.
  • Regulation - All gaming activities must comply with technical standards set forth in each compact. Tribes must maintain surveillance and security logs that are open to inspection by the Arizona Department of Gaming. Tribes must license all gaming employees, but the Arizona Department of Gaming may make a recommendation on whether a person should be licensed. Tribes must maintain a list of persons barred from gaming facilities because of their criminal history or associations. Gaming employees who are not enrolled tribal members must also be certified by the state. Manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of gaming devices must be both licensed by the tribe and certified by the state. The Arizona Department of Gaming is authorized to conduct an annual compact compliance review of each tribe's gaming operations and facilities.
  • Results of Statewide Expansion of Gambling - If state law changes to allow anyone other than Indian tribes to offer slot machines or other gambling that is currently prohibited off of reservations, tribal obligations to make contributions to the state are reduced and the limits on slot machines, gaming facilities and gaming tables become null and void.

[S] (1555)[4][3]

Donors pro and con

Altogether, $31 million was spent on both sides of this ballot initiative.


The committee supporting the initiative was called Arizonans for Fair Gaming and Indian Self-Reliance. This group spent $21.2 million. The largest donors to this committee were:

  • The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, $5.3 million.
  • Gila River Indian Community, $5.3 million.
  • Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, $3 million.
  • Tohono Oodham Nation, $1.8 million.
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community, $1.6 million.
  • Yavapai-Apache Nation, $1.09 million.
  • Quechan Indian Tribe, $944,000.
  • Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, $740,000
  • Cocopah Indian Tribe, $391,755.
  • Mazatzal Casino, $378,000.
  • White Mountain Apache Tribe, $327,390.[5]


The committee opposing the initiative was called Yes for Arizona!. Altogether, they spent $10.3 million. The largest donors to this group were:

  • Colorado River Indian Tribes, $10,324,579
  • Bermuda Palms Mobile Home Park, $1,000.[6]

Similar measures

See also

Suggest a link

External links


  1. Arizona 2002 election results
  2. [ Secretary of State 2002 ballot measure summary, accessed December 31, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  4. NCSL ballot measure database, accessed December 31, 2013
  5. Donors to Yes on 202
  6. Donors to Yes for Arizona