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US – Three years of growth for Indian Gaming

By - 1 August 2013

The National Indian Gaming Commission has released data showing revenues generated by the Indian gaming industry in 2012 totalled $27.9bn, the highest ever, marking the third consecutive year of growth of gross gaming revenues (GGR) since the recession began in 2008.

Tracie Stevens, Chairwoman of The National Indian Gaming Commission said: “In 2012, the Indian gaming industry saw its largest gross gaming revenues ever. For those who judge casino spending as an indicator of increased discretionary spending and economic recovery, 2012 revenues certainly display economic encouragement.”

The 2012 GGR of $27.9bnrepresents 2.7 per cent growth in revenue from the 2011 GGR of $27.2bn.  The overall growth of GGR in 2012 is attributable to 66 per cent of the Indian gaming operations, which reported an increase in gaming revenues.  Of the operations that reported an increase in revenue, approximately 44 per cent showed moderate growth of less than 10 per cent.

“Regulation has played a key role in the growth of the Indian gaming industry,” said Associate Commissioner Dan Little. “Over the last three years our regulatory review has provided much needed reform to meet the needs of the changing industry and provide flexibility and consistency for tribes and tribal regulators.”

The associated table shows the revenue trends over the past 10 years. Since 2010, the Indian gaming industry experienced approximately three per cent annual growth, reaching its largest GGR this year.

Small and moderate gaming operations make up 56 per cent of Indian gaming.  Many Indian tribes use gaming revenues to fund economic development activities on reservations and more effective provision of tribal government services, including health services, early education programs and language and cultural preservation activities.

In 2012, 98 Indian gaming operations reported gaming revenue between $10m and $25m, 70 Indian gaming operations reported gaming revenue between $3m and $10m and 69 Indian gaming operations reported gaming revenue less than $3m.

“These numbers illustrate that the majority of tribal gaming operations are small to mid-size,” said Mrs Stevens. “The industry is driven by the demographics of each area. Most tribal gaming operations are in rural parts of the country where jobs are greatly needed for both natives and non-natives alike.”

Continuing the trend that began in 2011, all seven regions experienced growth in 2012. The largest increase in GGR of 5.1 per cent or $233m occurred within the St. Paul Region, which consists of 120 gaming operations across nine Great Plains states. The Tulsa Region, which consists of 64 gaming operations in Kansas and eastern Oklahoma, had the largest percentage increase from 2011; 6.6 per cent or $125m.

Over 420 gaming establishments, associated with nearly 240 tribes across 28 states.

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