Gambling in Arizona is conducted by Native American tribes and gaming is regulated by the Arizona Department of Gaming.
In 1988, the United States Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act also known as IGRA. This act created a simple framework of federal regulations and enforcement requirements for gambling that is held on Native American reservations. This act was adopted by Congress in order to promote economic development for Native American tribes while also creating an effective framework for state and federal regulations.
Arizona recognized the popularity of Native American gaming in the state and decided that it needed to create an independent authority with the necessary expertise in gaming. In 1995, the Arizona Legislature passed a law called Chapter 76 which enlarged the Arizona State Gaming Agency which then became the Arizona Department of Gaming. The Arizona Department of Gaming works with Native American tribes in Arizona to regulate casinos on reservations. Native American gaming in Arizona is overseen by the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. These Compacts are agreements between the state of Arizona and the 21 Native American tribes that live in the state.
The Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compacts give Native American tribes exclusive rights to operate casino games and slot machines and establishes regulations in regards to casino operations. The Compacts authorize Arizona to ensure that tribal casinos follow all rules and regulations. The agreements between the state of Arizona and its Native American tribes have been extended and they are still authorized to operate casinos in the state. Right now there are 16 different tribes that operate a total of 23 Class III casinos while another 5 tribes do not have casinos but they are allowed to run slot machines. Only 1 tribe does not have a Compact with Arizona.