Today, each tribe member receives receives as much as $150,000 annually paid in monthly deposits along with free health care, free college tuition and no state income tax.
Since Indian tribes are sovereign, the Pala Band of Mission Indians does not publicly disclose their profits, but the Pala Casino is clearly profitable. Each of its 800 or so members over the age of 18 receives an estimated $13,000 (before taxes, insurance, utilities, and other benefits) in casino earnings per month.
How much does each tribal member receive? According to court records, it’s about $13,000 a month, or, about $156,000 a year.
Cuevas’ tribe operates the Pechanga Resort and Casino, the largest in California. By some estimates, it earns from $1-2 billion annually and pays allotments to each tribal member of $300,000 or more a year.
1. Shakopee Mdewakanton – Annual Revenue of $1 Billion. The Shakopee Mdewakanton are the wealthiest Native American tribe, going by the individual personal wealth. They are 480 members, and each member gets around $84,000 per month, as disclosed by a tribe member going through a divorce.
So where does the money go? 7. Revenues from gaming are required to be used for tribal governmental and charitable ventures only. The revenues are exempt from federal, state, and local taxes, however there are exceptions.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all individuals, including Native Americans, are subject to federal income tax. Section 1 imposes a tax on all taxable income. Section 61 provides that gross income includes all income from whatever source derived.
All Choctaw members aged 18 and older can receive $1,000 annually for two years starting next month, while those younger than 18 can receive an annual payment of $700 for two years, according to a press release. Recipients must apply for the payments and attest they were negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Today, the Shakopee Mdewakanton are believed to be the richest tribe in American history as measured by individual personal wealth: Each adult, according to court records and confirmed by one tribal member, receives a monthly payment of around $84,000, or $1.08 million a year.
In spite of the annual income of the Pechanga Casino- between 1 and 2 billion dollars a year -there is great contention within the ranks. Again, in spite of the fact that each tribe member receives between 300 and 400 thousand dollars per year.
Members of some Native American tribes receive cash payouts from gaming revenue. The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, for example, has paid its members $30,000 per month from casino earnings. Other tribes send out more modest annual checks of $1,000 or less.
Oglala Lakota County, contained entirely within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation, has the lowest per capita income ($8,768) in the country, and ranks as the “poorest” county in the nation.
No money is given directly to individuals or families, but it must be used to provide increased access to quality housing for them. Low-income Native Americans get some money directly to improve their living conditions on reservations or other tribal land areas.