Dr. Alan Meister has released his 2015 Indian Gaming Industry Report. This is the thirteenth edition of the Report and is widely regarded as the best source for the state of the Indian gaming industry, which has grown to $28.3 billion in revenue as of 2013, accounting for nearly half of the casino gaming business in the United States. The hundred-page Report (and hundred plus pages of data) dives into all 28 Indian gaming states with detailed reports and explanations of gaming trends on a state-by-state level.
Meister’s comprehensive Report analyzes publicly reported data and information provided confidentially by Indian gaming operators. The 2015 Report covers calendar year 2013 due to data availability – still, it is the most up-to-date data available.
Meister reports that as of 2013, 244 tribes operated 479 gaming facilities in 28 states. These operations generated a record $28.3 billion in direct gaming revenue. In fact, every year except 2009, a devastating year for the entire United States economy, demonstrated growth over the previous year. Indian gaming revenue has more than doubled since 2001.
The 2013 revenue represented a 0.5% increase over 2012, despite the otherwise struggling economy. The small growth rate, however, reflects a gaming slowdown which Meister attributes to the simultaneous slowdown in the U.S. economy, reflected by slow growth rates in both GDP and disposable income in 2013 versus 2012.
Nationwide growth trends, however, can be deceiving. On a state level, revenue growth varied widely. Texas experienced 39% growth in its small Indian gaming market, but revenue shrank by 8% in New York. Among other states experiencing negative growth were Wyoming, Idaho, Connecticut and Alaska.
Success in Indian gaming remained very concentrated with the top 6% of all Indian casinos bringing in 41% of total revenue. California continued to bring in 25% of all Indian gaming revenue at its 69 facilities – about $7 billion. After California came Oklahoma with $3.8 billion, a 2% increase from 2012. Those two states alone brought in 38% of all Indian gaming revenue in 2013.
Gaming revenue in Class II only states grew faster than the average, by approximately 9% in 2013. Class II only states are Alabama, Alaska, Nebraska and Texas, but gaming revenue in those states accounted for only 2% of total Indian gaming revenue. Many Class II gaming machines are in mixed Class II/Class III states, but data was not available for the total contribution of Class II gaming in such facilities.
Meister’s Report also estimates the total economic impact of Indian gaming, including secondary economic activity – purchase of goods and services required to operate Indian casinos and other businesses down the supply chain. From that perspective, Indian gaming contributed a whopping $42 billion to the U.S. economy in 2013.
The 2015 Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report is available from Casino City Press at http://www.indiangamingreport.com.