A number of tribal nations have enjoyed tremendous financial prosperity during the last two decades. Some have passed this wealth onto tribal members in the form of generous per capita payments made annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or even monthly. It’s easy to get used to consistent and reliable cash that enables a comfortable lifestyle. One that might include a beautiful home, exciting travel, new cars, and less time spent having to work.
But can we always expect to receive hefty per cap? Will it keep flowing like a river that knows no bounds? For most tribes the answer is probably no, especially for tribes in which gaming is the primary source of per cap. And why is that? Because gaming is a cyclical industry, meaning it comes and goes. Factors such as the economy, political attitudes, and competition can all impact tribal casino profits which in turn impact per capita payments. Competition might very well be the biggest challenge as more and more tribal casinos vie for a slice of the Indian gaming pie, not to mention threats from non-Native gaming interests such as online gaming.
So the question is, are you prepared if your tribe suddenly lowers your per cap payments? If so, what’s your contingency plan?