Tribal-gaming revenues rose nearly 5% in fiscal-year 2022 and reached $40.9 billion, the highest amount in its history, according to a 10-page report released Wednesday by the National Indian Gaming Commission.
Overall fiscal-year 2022 gaming revenue rose 4.9%, or $1.9 billion more than the 2021 total of $39 billion. Seven of NIGC’s eight regions showed an increase over fiscal-year 2021 when operations were emerging from the pandemic. The Sacramento region with $11.9 billion in revenue, by far the leader, was the only one to record a decrease at 1.4%.
The NIGC said it’s important to note the year-over-year gaming-revenue change by region shouldn’t be used as an indicator of the local economy in any specific region. Many other factors can impact gaming 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.
The gaming revenue figures identified in the report are aggregate of gaming revenues collected from the audited financial statements of the 519 gaming operations of 244 tribes across 29 states.
“This year’s historic revenue reflects the resiliency of many tribal gaming operations and how tribal gaming continues to rebound and remain strong,” said NIGC Chairman Sequoyah Simermeyer. “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. Across Indian country, tribes pursue economic sustainability through gaming by relying on the robust regulatory reputation for which Indian gaming is well known, and made better when supported by efficient and effective measures.”
The Phoenix region had the biggest increase at 15.7% to $3.72 billion. That was followed by 10.8% in Washington, D.C., to $8.97 billion. Tulsa had a 10.6% increase to $3.48 billion. Rapid City had a 9.1% increase to $406.1 million. Oklahoma City had a 4% increase to $3.14 billion. St. Paul had a 3.4% increase to $4.95 billion. Portland had a 1.% increase to $4.48 billion, according to the report.
NIGC Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland noted this year’s gaming revenue reflects Indian gaming’s geographic and financial diversity, with 55% of tribal gaming facilities reporting less than $25 million in revenues (5% of the total). Indian gaming’s success also often means benefits to surrounding communities and regional economies, she added.
“We have cause to celebrate the opportunity successful Indian gaming operations affords tribes to invest in the future and improve the quality of life for individual Native people, and their families, and their communities,” Hovland said.