The National Indian Gaming Commission has released its figures for 2003 casino revenues:
National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman Phil Hogen announced today that national 2003 gross gaming revenues for Indian gaming facilities topped $16.7 billion, an increase of $2 billion or 13.7 percent over 2002 gross gaming revenues.
“The Indian gaming industry has grown significantly and steadily throughout the past decade,” said Chairman Hogen. “This growth has allowed tribes to create jobs, develop economically, build infrastructure within their communities and provide services for tribal members.”
The $16.7 billion figure is based on audited financial statements received by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) for gaming operations with fiscal years ending in 2003. The figure is based on statements received by June 30, 2004.
Additionally, the NIGC has broken-down the $16.7 billion by the agency’s six regions.
Region III, which includes California, accounted for approximately 50 percent of the total increase in revenues. Region III revenues increased by almost 28 percent for the year compared to 9 percent for the other regions.
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This is a big deal for the commerical casino industry too, because even though California revenues have exploded, Nevada gaming has not suffered too much. Certain markets have been harder hit than others, but on the whole the state’s gaming revenues are growing. I imagine that destination-type markets throughout the country would find the same pattern.