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NIGC finds increase in 2016 gaming revenues

After reviewing 2016 revenue numbers, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) found that the fiscal year 2016 gross gaming revenue totaled $31.2 billion, a 4.4 percent increase from 2015.

(PRNewsfoto/National Indian Gaming Commission)

All of NIGC’s administrative regions showed growth during the year. The following regions saw the corresponding increases: Sacramento — 6.3 percent, Oklahoma City — 5.7 percent, Portland — 5.1 percent, Phoenix — 4.4 percent, Tulsa — 4 percent, Washington, D.C. — 3.8 percent, and St. Paul — 1.1 percent. While Sacramento and Oklahoma City showed the highest increases, their overall growth rate declined by 1.7 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively. On the other hand, Portland, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. have continued to show steady progress since 2014. From fiscal years 2015-2016, the regions increased their gross gaming revenue by 1.9 percent, 0.7 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

This is the first time the gross gaming revenue was more than $30 billion in Indian Country. Fiscal year 2015 was the closest prior attempt, managing to hit just under the mark at $29.9 billion. The success came steadily, as in fiscal year 2014, the NIGC found miniscule growth across the regions, even negative growth in two of the regions.

NIGC Chairman Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri said that that the success is partially due to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act promoting tribal self-determination principals.

“The stable growth is reflective of a healthy and well regulated industry with a tremendous impact on local and state economies,” Chaudhuri stated in a press release. “When Congress passed IGRA almost 30 years ago, it expressly cited in its findings and purposes the long standing federal policy goal to promote tribal economic development, tribal self-sufficiency and strong tribal governments.”

The NIGC calculates revenues by analyzing 484 independently audited financial statements from 244 federally recognized tribes from 29 states. To calculate the gross gaming revenue, analysts subtract winnings players earn from the amount wagered, as well as earnings before salaries, tribal-state compacts and operating expenses of casinos.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act created NIGC to support tribal self-sufficiency and to preserve integrity within Native American gaming. The four initiatives created to fulfill this purpose are: To protect against gamesmanship on the backs of tribes, stay ahead of the technology curve, rural outreach, and to maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and its partners.

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