Since the 1980s, casino-style gaming has become the most successful economic development strategy of tribal governments across the United States. This talk will describe the history of the Indigenous gaming industry and review the evidence on the economic and socio-economic effects of Indigenous casinos. The evidence indicates that Indigenous casinos generate immediate labor market benefits that persist decades later. To what extent does the success of Indigenous casinos in the United States translate into success in the Canadian context? The talk concludes with a discussion about regulatory differences between the two countries and the likely implications for host First Nations in Canada.
May 20, 2022 | Virtual | Noon - 1:00 pm


Dr. Laurel Wheeler is an applied microeconomist specializing in labor and development economics, with a particular focus on the economies of Indigenous communities in North America. Dr. Wheeler is an assistant professor in the Economics Department at the University of Alberta, where she teaches courses on Indigenous economics and urban economics. Dr. Wheeler holds a PhD and MA in economics from Duke University, an MSc in economics for development from the University of Oxford, and a BA in political science from the University of Florida.