The casino industry’s continued recovery from COVID-19-related closures is reflected in a record year at more than 500 Native American-run casinos.
Tribal casinos combined just over $39 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for fiscal 2021, breaking the record by around $4.5 billion, the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) reported. .
Tribal Casino revenue in 2019 held the record at $34.58 billion.
The stops were a learning experience
“The NIGC recognizes that this year’s rebound has not been felt equally by all tribes. We are committed to helping all tribal operations benefit from regulatory lessons learned over the past two years,” NIGC Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer said in a press release. “…All parts of the Indian gaming industry have a responsibility to learn from the experiences of the tribes that blazed the trail, so we are preserving those lessons and making sure to retain that knowledge for generations to come.”
According to data from Indian National Gaming Commission website.
Last year’s total was also up 12.9% from 2019. The 2021 numbers continued a trend for tribal casinos; 2019 marked the 10e consecutive year in which the tribal gaming industry reset the record for best GGR in a fiscal year.
But in 2020, tribal casinos as well as commercial casinos have joined so many other businesses in closing or operating with reduced hours – often doing the first then the second when reopening – and as a result, 2020 casino revenue in tribal settlements decreased by 19.5. % compared to the record level of 2019.
Breaking down the tribal revenue figures
In fiscal 2021, 43 tribal casinos reported at least $250 million in revenue, offering gaming options such as roulette and other popular table games and card games. These facilities, which accounted for just 8.4% of the national total, accounted for 52% of revenue, or more than $20.4 billion.
Another 61 tribal casinos reported between $100 million and $250 million in revenue, for a total of $10.1 billion, or about 26% of the national total. According to the NIGC, the figures for fiscal year 2021 were compiled from 510 audited financial statements representing 243 tribes.
The casinos are divided into eight tribal regions. The region reporting the highest revenue total was the Sacramento area, with $11.9 billion. The Rapid City area is the smallest and was the only one under $1 billion; however, this region had the best percentage jump over 2020. The Rapid City region grew from $238.6 million in combined revenue for 2020 to $372 million last year, an increase of 56 %.
Most betting at native-run casinos is done in person, as only six states have legalized online gambling sites.