Column: Tribal and commercial gaming remain in separate camps

National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, far right, helped the American Gaming Association open the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas last week. Photo from Twitter

The American Gaming Association included tribes in its annual report for the first time this year but columnist Howard Stutz argues the two industries remain divided:
No one argues that Indian Gaming hasn’t become lucrative.

The Strip — long considered the nation’s No. 1 gaming revenue producing destination — may not be atop the pack if California is included.

The Casino City report said California’s 68 Indian casinos produced $6.96 billion in gaming revenue in 2012. The Strip’s 42 casinos had gaming revenue of $6.2 billion that same year, according to the Gaming Control Board.

The Sacramento region’s $7 billion in revenue, according the Indian Gaming Commission, easily topped the $6.5 billion produced by the Strip resorts in 2013.

The American Gaming Association believes casino customers don’t distinguish between one casino type or another.

At the Global Gaming Expo last week, the Washington-based trade association released an economic impact study that looked at both commercial and tribal gaming and the bearing the businesses have on local communities.

The study, conducted by the Oxford Economics, found the two industries and gaming manufacturers produced total revenue — gaming and nongaming — of more than $87 billion in 2013. The total economic impact was nearly $240 billion.

“The way the gaming consumer looks at it, it’s all gaming,” association President Geoff Freeman said.

Early Indian casinos were often considered second-rate to commercial properties. But not anymore.

Get the Story:
Inside Gaming by Howard Stutz: Gaming revenue distinguishes commercial, Indian casinos (The Las Vegas Review-Journal 10/5)

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Report places economic impact of US gaming industry at $240B (10/1)

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