Tribal Casino Revenues Up 5% to $29.9BN in 2015

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has just released its annual revenue results for tribal gaming operations spread out across the USA, and the news was positive with 474 tribal casinos generating $29.9 billion in the financial year 2015, up 5% versus FY2014. Commenting on the figure, NIGC Chairman Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri explained:
“The strong regulation that tribes as well as federal regulators and other stake holders provides has played a key role in the stability and growth of the Indian gaming industry by providing consistency and predictability.”
According to the statistics, 6.5% of tribal operations, or 31 casinos, produced revenues in excess of $250 million in 2015, in the process accounting for $13.4 billion, or 45% of overall revenues. On the other side of the coin, 20% of the venues collected revenues of less than $3 million.
The NIGC was set-up following the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988), with the organization subsequently dividing the country’s tribal casinos into seven geographic areas. Last year, all regions then reported year-on-year revenue gains, headed by the Sacramento region (California, Northern Nevada) up 8% to $7.9 billion; followed by Oklahoma City (Western Oklahoma, Texas) up 6.7% to $2.1 billion; and Tulsa (Kansas, Eastern Oklahoma) up 6.5% to $2.2 billion.
Referring to FY2015’s overall result, Chaudhuri praised the “tremendous growth and advancement” made by the Indian gaming industry, with revenues now higher by 20% compared to the $24.9 billion generated in 2006. Elaborating further, Chaudhuri said:
“The Indian gaming industry can look back on tremendous growth and advancemen. In the 30 years since the case was argued before the United States Supreme Court, Indian gaming has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry annually. This is in no doubt due largely to the innovation, leadership and positive reputation that Indian country in conjunction with the regulatory community has cultivated since the advent of Indian gaming.”
Although Indian gaming continues to be a success story, not all tribes are involved in the casino industry and due to their location in unpopulated rural areas are unlikely to ever do so.

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