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Archive for Thursday, June 4, 2009

American Indian gambling revenue shows hefty growth

June 4, 2009

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— National Indian Gaming Commission figures released Wednesday indicate that tribal gambling revenues in Oklahoma and two adjoining states rose to more than $3 billion last year.

The commission an-nounced the figures at a gambling conference in Washington, D.C., and the two Oklahoma regions tracked by the commission showed the strongest growth in the nation.

The Oklahoma City region, which includes western Oklahoma and Texas, has 48 gambling operations and produced $1.347 billion in revenues, up 17.6 percent from the previous year. Meanwhile, the Tulsa region, which includes eastern Oklahoma and Kansas, has 62 gambling operations that produced $1.699 billion in revenues, an increase of 18.2 percent.

Nationally, revenues totaled $26.738 billion, up 2.3 percent from 2007. More than 240 of the nation’s 562 American Indian tribes engage in gambling, operating more than 400 casinos and bingo halls in 28 states.

The Oklahoma City region has three more operations than in 2007, while the Tulsa region has five more.

Mark Fulton, senior vice president for operations for Cherokee Nation Enterprises, said the tribe is not surprised at the growth of Oklahoma casinos.

“As other states were being impacted by high gas prices and recessionary tightening, such as California and Las Vegas, this region was expanding its offerings with hotels, more amenities and entertainment,” he said.

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