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Tribal Gaming Revenue Hits Record Level

489 Native American Gaming Facilities Generate $28.9B In Gaming Win

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Casinos from Native American groups took in a record $28.9 billion from gamblers in 2014, according to Casino City’s annual Indian Gaming Industry Report, which was released Thursday.

There were 243 Native American tribes operating nearly 352,000 gaming machines and nearly 7,800 table games in 489 gaming facilities across 28 states, the report said.

Though the $28.9 billion was a record, it was just a two-percent increase compared to 2013. It was the fifth straight year that saw a gaming revenue uptick.

Tribal gaming is doing well relative to commercial casinos like the ones in Las Vegas. Indian gaming generated 43.5 percent of all U.S. casino gaming revenue in 2014.

The best news is that the growth rate of non-gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities was five percent year-over-year. Nevada casinos have seen a similar trend of non-gaming amenities driving growth rather than the casino floor. Las Vegas gaming win has basically been unchanged for the past several years.

California remained the nation’s no. 1 tribal gambling market with roughly $7.3 billion in gaming revenue. California and Oklahoma, the top two states, generated nearly 40 percent of total gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities.

The top 10 states generated 85 percent, the research also found.

Indian gaming facilities directly and indirectly generated $95 billion in economic output, 738,000 jobs, $32.6 billion in wages, $1.7 billion in federal, state, and local taxes, and $8 billion in direct revenue sharing payments to federal, state, and local governments, the report added. Indian gaming is regulated by the federal government, but tribes compact with individual states.

The sheer size of California’s tribal gaming market partially explains why passing online poker legislation has remained incredibly difficult for years. Factor in California’s brick-and-mortar card rooms annual revenue of $850 million and the fact that horse racing facilities want to be dealt into an online poker industry and you have an uphill battle. A new California online poker was introduced last month that is trying to find a compromise among all the various stakeholders.