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NIGC: Indian Gaming Revenue breaks record (again)

The “Dragon Link” slot machine at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa. (Hard Rock)

Indian gaming revenue continued to break records as the Covid-19 pandemic waned.

Revenue reached a record $40.9 billion in fiscal year 2022 (Oct. 1, 2021 – Sept. 30, 2022), according to the National Indian Gaming Commission’s (NIGC) gross gaming revenue numbers released July 19. The total represents a 4.9% increase over fiscal year 2021’s $39 billion – the previous record.

Seven of NIGC’s eight regions showed an increase over fiscal year 2021. The Washington, D.C.-region, which includes Florida and six other states, reported the highest revenue at $9 billion. The Sacramento region, which includes California and northern Nevada, was the region that did not show an increase in revenue – down 1.4% from fiscal year 2021’s revenue of $11.9 billion.

The NIGC said revenue changes by region shouldn’t be used as a direct indicator of the local economy in any specific re­gion. It said many other factors could have an impact on revenue at the regional level, such as new gaming operations, expansions or renovations to existing operations, temporary or permanent closures, or changes in a gaming operation’s fiscal year.

“This year’s historic revenue reflects the resiliency of many tribal gaming operations and how tribal gaming continues to rebound and remain strong,” NIGC chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer (Coharie Tribe), said in a July 19 news release. “Tribal governments and the operations they license continue to explore new and innovative ways to expand and deliver world-class experiences to cultivate sustainable economies.”

Before fiscal year 2021, the previous record high was $34.6 billion in 2019. In the pandemic-laden year of 2020, the NIGC reported revenue of $27.8 billion – a 19.5% decrease compared to 2019.

The NIGC said fiscal year 2022 revenues were calculated from independently audited financial statements from 519 gaming operations owned by 244 federally recognized tribes. Indian gaming operations are currently located on Indian land in 29 states.

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