Native Americans Hit $26.4 Billion Gaming Revenue In 2009

According to a report released recently, Native American casinos generated $26.4 billion in gambling revenue throughout 2009.
The Indian Gaming Industry Report revealed that 237 tribes operating 446 businesses across 28 states accounted for $26.4 billion in gambling revenue in 2009, as well as $3.2 billion in non-gaming revenue.
Leading the Indian gaming states was California ($7.7 billion), followed by Oklahoma ($3.1 billion), Connecticut ($2.2 billion) and then Florida ($2 billion).
Native American casinos now account for around 44% of the US total gambling industry revenue and the 300,000 jobs supported by the industry are seen as vital for preserving local communities and cultures. Commenting on the figures, Mashpee Wampanoag’s tribal council chairman Cedric Cromwell said:
“Indian gaming remains a very profitable venture and is a promising mechanism under federal law for tribes like ours to meet the needs of our people.”
Despite the impressive figures, the 2009 result of $26.4 billion was actually 1% lower than that of 2008 ($26.7 billion) and represented the first contraction in annual revenue since Native American tribes were permitted to start building casinos in 1988.
However, the 1% revenue decline was significantly less than the 8% drop experienced by other commercial gambling operations nationwide, which were down from $30 billion to $27.6 billion in 2009.
Striking a positive note for the future, the report’s writer Alan Meister said:
“Despite the 2009 downturn, the future outlook for Indian gaming remains positive. In the short term, there is a lot of uncertainty due to the general state of the economy.”
“However, in 2010, many commercial casino and racing states moved in a positive direction, showing higher growth rates. If Indian gaming follows suit, then we might see some turnaround for Indian gaming in the 2010 figures when they become available.”

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