Osage Tribal Gaming began at the Pawhuska Wakon Iron facility in 2000. Currently, the Osage Casino, formerly known as the Million Dollar Elm Casino (MDEC) is the company which operates Osage gaming. The Osage Casino in turn reports to the Osage Nation Gaming Enterprise Board which is a governing body appointed by the Principal Chief and confirmed by the Osage Nation Congress.
Indian gaming was initially conceived to create jobs for Native Americans in areas of relatively high unemployment and low income. Tribal gaming is regulated by federal law which states, A tribe shall use net revenues from any tribal gaming for one or more of the following purposes:
- To fund tribal government or programs
- To provide for the general welfare of the tribe and its members
- To promote tribal economic development
- To donate to charitable organizations; or
- To help fund operations of local government agencies of the Osage Nation.