The 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) enacted by Congress created the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). Under the Act, Congress divided gaming conducted on Indian lands into three classes: Class I—traditional games; Class II—bingo, games similar to bingo, and certain non-banked card games; Class III—all other games. Each of these classes of gaming is subject to different degrees of state and federal regulation. Class I is subject to the Tribal regulation. Class II is subject to the Tribal regulation and oversight by NIGC. Class III gaming is allowed only by a Tribal-State Compact or Secretarial procedures for Class III gaming after negotiations with a state.
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community signed the first compact with the State on August 18, 1998. The current Compact with the State of Arizona, which authorized two casinos for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, was signed February 5, 2003. The SRPMIC Gaming Ordinance was originally passed by Council June 26, 1996 and incorporated the Compact as part of the Gaming Ordinance.
Casino Arizona at Salt River first opened for business in August 1998. A second casino at Talking Stick opened March 1999 and the Casino Arizona at Talking Stick Resort opened April 15, 2010.