Tribal casinos saw record high revenues in the 2018 fiscal year, the National Indian Gaming Commission reported.
On Sept. 12, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NGIC) released Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) figures for the 2018 fiscal year. The numbers totaled $33.7 billion, an overall increase of 4.1 percent over the 2017 fiscal year.
These figures are the highest in Tribal gaming history because, unlike previous years, all of the NIGC’s administrative regions experienced an increase in the 2018 fiscal year.
Revenues are determined by 501 casinos submitting independently audited financial reports, comprised of 241 federally recognized tribes across 29 states. The GGR for an operation is calculated based on the amount wagered minus winnings returned to bettors.
NIGC Associate Commissioner E. Sequoyah Simermeyer spoke about the fiscal increase, the National Indian Gaming Commission documented.
“The annual GGR tells a positive story about Indian gaming’s economic success and the industry’s ongoing contribution to a strong economy," Simermeyer said. "It also tells the story of how collaboration among tribes, industry and the regulatory communities can build a strong reputation for reliability and integrity in the GGR calculation.”
The 501 financial statements revealed that 59 casinos collected the highest amount of revenue with totals ranging from $100 million to $250 million. On the lower side of the fiscal increase, 102 casinos took in less than $3 million in revenue.
With a stunning 8.2 percent increase, the Portland Region — which includes Idaho, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington — showed the highest growth rate in the 2018 fiscal year.
The Oklahoma City Region, which includes the western half of the state and Texas, had the second highest growth rate with 7.3 percent.
Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Matthew Morgan spoke about the increased growth rate, the Tulsa World reported.
“I think we do a great job, and we have a good product that our patrons like to partake of when they are choosing how to spend their entertainment dollars," Morgan said
Morgan also explained why the Oklahoma City Region did better in 2018, citing the Oklahoma-Texas border as a major component.
“If you look at some of those facilities along the Red River and the tourists that brings it in, the dollars that it brings in from out of state that wouldn’t otherwise be frequenting and bringing in to Oklahoma, I think that’s probably a lot of it," Morgan said.
Oklahoma's tribal casino industry has only gotten bigger over the years and contributes majorly to the state's economy, but it's been acknowledged this year that tribal compacts need to be revisited and renewed soon.
While the Oklahoma City and Portland Regions saw the most increase in growth rate, the No. 1 region in gross revenues was the Sacramento, California Region with tribes collecting $9.3 billion in the 2018 fiscal year.
Tribal casino expansion efforts regarding sports betting have additionally have been introduced in New York and other states as the industry continues to grow along with the modern gambling landscape.