TransAct Technologies recently attended and exhibited at the Indian Gaming National Marketing Conference at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa. The casino is located on the Morongo Reservation, one of the nine reservations that President Ulysses S. Grant set aside in an executive order in 1865. Located just outside of Palm Springs, California, the reservation sits at the base of the San Gorgonio and San Jacinto Mountains and spans over 35,000 acres.
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians is a combination of many different small groups of California Native Americans. Due to this, there are three different languages, Cahuilla, Cupeno, and Serrano. These languages are classified as “Uto-Aztecan Languages” and are Native American languages that are spoken in the western United States and Mexico.
The Morongo Band of Mission Indians have a wealth of culture and history that is celebrated and revered by the Malki Museum which is on the reservation and is open to the public. In 1965, Jane K. Penn, a Wanikik Cahuilla, started the Malki Museum with the help and inspiration of others.
Tribal members opened a small bingo hall in 1983, effectively changing Morongo’s future forever. Over the years, this modest bingo hall has transformed into one of the oldest and most successful Indian gaming facilities in California. In 2004 a new facility was built – The Morongo Casino Resort and Spa. The casino is not only one of the oldest tribal casinos in the United States, but also one of the largest.
With its diversification into non-gaming businesses, the tribe has become the largest private sector employer in the Banning-Beaumont region and is a major contributor to the Coachella Valley economy.
On both community outreach and social education fronts, Morongo has taken a leadership role. The tribe gives generously on an annual basis to hundreds of local community groups. The Morongo tribe’s progress is a case history that illustrates how combining a pro-active tribal government with sound economic development can enable tribes to turn their lives and communities around and dramatically impact the surrounding economic region.