Tribal Gaming Industry; Employee Perceptions; Employee Engagement; Tribal Self-Sufficiency; Corporate Social Responsibility; Philanthropic Activities; Employee-Guest Interaction


Gaming and Casino Operations Management | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Performance Management | Strategic Management Policy | Training and Development

Document Type

Original Research Article


While the business case for employee engagement and satisfaction is well documented in the service profit chain and the cost savings of employee retention are easily quantified, the means to achieving these related goals in the casino industry is not well known. The pathway to employee engagement and satisfaction is even less well known in the tribal government gaming industry. This paper finds that employees in casinos that are owned by tribal governments in the United States find particular pride in sharing the tribal government’s self-sufficiency, community engagement, and philanthropic activities with casino guests, who often wonder “where the money goes.” The paper supports our case with data collected from tribal casino employees in four Southern California casinos that demonstrate that employees are a good source to share crafted messages with casino guests. We put these philanthropic and charitable contributions in the larger context of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies that commercial casino companies have implemented through their trade association, the American Gaming Association, in order to manage perceptions of the gambling industry in the United States.