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Top 10 tidbits from Casino City's Indian Gaming Industry Report

4 April 2016

If you're a regular casino-goer, chances are good that you've visited an Indian gaming facility at some point over the last two decades.

Since the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988, Native American casino resorts have become a staple in the industry and, according to Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report, released in March by Casino City Press, Indian gaming is on the rise.

Front cover of the Indian Gaming Industry Report, 2016 edition

Front cover of the Indian Gaming Industry Report, 2016 edition

The study, authored by Alan P. Meister, Ph.D., is widely recognized as the most comprehensive and up-to-date study of Indian gaming in the U.S. In its 14th year of publication, it provides a wide array of nationwide and exclusive state market summaries and statistics, including gaming and nongaming revenue; number of facilities, tribes, gaming machines and table games; and tribal revenue sharing with state and local governments.

The study also includes comparisons across states and classes of gaming, state-by-state historical perspective and trends, an examination of the reasons for Indian gaming performance, comparisons to other gaming segments, an economic impact analysis measuring Indian gaming's contribution to the U.S. economy, and a qualitative future outlook. Over the years, the report has been endorsed by tribal and gaming industry leaders, and Dr. Meister's research and analyses have been used before the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Supreme Court and the World Trade Organization.

Throughout the 242 pages of the new report, there are thousands of statistics and insights presented by Dr. Meister, who collects and analyzes the data year-round from publicly available sources, as well as confidentially from tribes, Indian gaming facilities, and regulatory agencies. Below are 10 of the most compelling facts we discovered.

For more information and to order a copy of the report, visit www.indiangamingreport.com.

10. Substantial number of tribes, properties, tables and machines

As of the end of calendar year 2014, there were 489 Indian gaming properties operated by 243 tribes in 28 states in accordance with the IGRA. These properties operated approximately 352,000 gaming machines and 7,800 table games.

9. All-time high in gaming revenue

Gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities nationwide grew approximately 2% in calendar year 2014, the most recent year for which data were available, to an all-time high of approximately $28.9 billion. Gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities has increased nearly 300-fold since the passage of IGRA, and over the past 13 years it has more than doubled.

8. All-time high in nongaming revenue

Nongaming amenities continue to be important to Indian gaming facilities, many of which have introduced or expanded amenities such as hotels, spas, restaurants, night clubs, convention/meeting space and entertainment venues, shopping, and golf courses. The growth rate of nongaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities was more than double that of gaming revenue in 2014, increasing approximately 5% to an all-time high of $3.8 billion.

7. Growth in 25 out of 26 years

2014 was the fifth consecutive year of growth for Indian gaming. Since 1988, the only year Indian gaming revenue did not increase was 2009 when it saw a 1% decrease as a result of the Great Recession.

6. State disparity
Dr. Alan Meister has been collecting and analyzing data on the Indian gaming industry for many years.

Dr. Alan Meister has been collecting and analyzing data on the Indian gaming industry for many years.



In calendar year 2014, Indian gaming revenue grew in 20 states, including double-digit growth in three states, and declined in eight states. The top five states were responsible for about 62% and the top 10 states made up 85% of total gaming revenue.

5. California booming

The top two states generated approximately 39% of total gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities. California was far and away the largest state in terms of gaming revenue in 2014 with approximately $7.3 billion, which is 85% more than the second state, Oklahoma, which generated $4 billion.

4. Direct impact on the economy

Indian gaming facilities, including nongaming operations, directly and indirectly generated approximately $95 billion in output, 738,000 jobs and $32.6 billion in wages.

3. Non-tribal fiscal benefits

In addition to the economic contributions cited above, Indian gaming generated significant non-tribal fiscal benefits to the U.S. economy, including $8.0 billion in federal, state and local taxes, and $1.7 billion in direct revenue sharing payments to federal, state and local governments.

2. Commercial casino growth stalls

In the polar opposite of what happened with Indian gaming, the commercial casino segment, defined as a traditional casinos operated under state gaming laws (excluding racetrack casinos, aka racinos), saw a 2% decrease in gaming revenues in calendar year 2014. Nevada, of course, was the top state in terms of commercial casino gaming revenue, followed by New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi and Indiana. Of those five states, only Louisiana saw an increase in 2014, while New Jersey, Mississippi and Indiana were among the fastest-declining states.

1. Indian gaming closing the gap

Indian gaming has slowly and steadily increased its share of the nationwide casino market, and in calendar year 2014 it generated 43.5% of all U.S. casino gaming revenue, compared to 44.2% for the commercial casino segment (the racino segment represented the remaining 12.3%). Indian gaming has now more than doubled its share of the market over the last 20 years.

For more information, or to order your copy, contact Lisa Pasquarosa at (617) 332-2850 x131 or lisa@casinocity.com.

Top 10 tidbits from Casino City's Indian Gaming Industry Report is republished from iGamingSuppliers.com.
Related Links
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Best of Gary Trask
Gary Trask

Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT