New York Tribal Casinos Generate $1.1 billion In 2012April 1, 2014 12:08 pm
Native American casinos operate in 28 of the 50 US states, and in 2012 tribal gambling revenues increased 4.8% to $37.34 billion with state and local governments then collecting $8.6 billion by way of taxes. New York, however, was one of just six states reporting a fall in tribal casino revenues that year, according to the latest Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report.
New York has eight Native American-run casinos with its first gambling venue, Turning Stone, having opened by the Oneida Indian Nation in 1993. Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, has ratified a sweeping agreement to build four privately-owned new casinos in the state in order to attract a further $1.2 billion in revenue which New Yorkers have apparently been gambling in bordering states. As well as creating an estimated 10,000 new jobs, the Governor is also anticipating an additional $340 million in taxes being funneled back into state coffers to help fund schools and tax cuts.
Whether or not Governor Cuomo’s casino expansion will have the desired effect remains to be seen, with Alan Meister, author of the Indian Gaming Industry Report, warning it could go one of two ways:
“Where you place the facilities, where they are going to draw from makes a huge difference. Maybe the facilities will draw new customers or draw back customers that are leaving the state already.”
The four casinos being constructed will be located in the Southern Tier, Catskills and Albany area, but as Alan Meister warns, with 55 casinos the Northeast already has a near saturated market, especially with further expansion already on the cards in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
However, while some see more gambling venues simply cannibalizing existing operations, New York remains steadfast in its support of gambling expansion, and last week State Senator John Bonacic introduced an online gambling bill to the New York Senate which envisages granting 10 internet poker licenses costing online operators $10 million each over a ten year period.
Commenting after online gambling bill S6913 was introduced, Poker Player’s Alliance, John Pappas, highlighted the fact almost ten other states were currently contemplating online gambling legislation in 2014, and said that “the state leaders are looking around, and they do not want to be left behind.”