Report Marks Indian Gaming Revenue Decline

March 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment  

Indian Gaming Still the Recessionary Winnerindian gaming revenue drops

Indian gaming began its widespread popularity in the States during the late 1980’s and its growth rapidly escalated. Despite the trend, even Indian gaming could not completely escape the impact of the recession, reporting an overall revenue decline of 1% in 2009, as reported in Casino City Press.

Casino City’s latest Indian Gaming Industry Report reveals national Indian gaming revenue declined 1% to $26.4 billion, from $26.7 billion the previous year. This marks it the first year of decline in Indian gaming history. According to the report, the overall slowdown was due to the economy and other factors including, public policies restricting the supply of gaming.

The performance of Indian gaming varied widely across states, California and Oklahoma were the top two states accounting for 38% of the total national Indian gaming revenue.

The overall decline in Indian gaming was much less serious than the commercial casino of the nationwide gaming industry.

Why Did the Indian Gaming Community Do So Well in the Economic Downturn?

Stics believes there are two major factors that contributed to the relative resilience of Indian Casinos over the past few years― and they both relate to location.

High Percentage of Local Gamers

If a property has a higher percentage of local gamers, its resilience in an economic downturn will be greater. Generally speaking:

  • In a recession, people travel less.
  • If gambling is a preferred form of entertainment, the destination gamble will reduce expenses by gambling closer to home.
  • The percentage of gross gaming revenue from local gamers is higher for Native American properties than destination cities.

Less Competition

Native American properties often, but not uniformly, enjoy less competition. This is due to:

  • Unique or remote locations
  • A scarcity of nearby gaming alternatives

This encourages customer visit stability, as gamblers come back to nearby casinos more consistently over time.  Because of this local access, gambling can become a recurring part of the local entertainment budget.

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