Frequently cited by the press, the Indian Gaming Industry Report is a trusted resource for government and regulatory agencies, investors, and the gaming industry itself, as well as associated industries. The report is the most comprehensive, up-to-date study of Indian gaming available, providing a wide array of nationwide and state-by-state data and analyses.
The report provides various data and analyses:
The Indian Gaming Industry Report is authored by Principal Economist, Dr. Alan Meister and published by Casino City Press. Dr. Meister has conducted extensive research and analysis of the gaming industry, particularly Indian gaming, for over 17 years. His research and analyses have been relied on in matters before the U.S. Department of the Interior, United States Supreme Court, and the World Trade Organization. He was also commissioned by the National Indian Gaming Commission to independently analyze the economic effects of proposed changes in Indian gaming regulations. Dr. Meister’s work in the Indian Gaming Industry Report has also been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 2017 report is the fifteenth and latest edition. To obtain a copy, please visit www.indiangamingreport.com. Click here or below to read a summary of the latest edition of the report. For the executive summary of the 2017 edition, please click here.
U.S. Indian gaming experienced strong growth on a nationwide basis in calendar year 2015 (5.5%), more than doubling that in 2014 and surpassing its pre-recession growth rate for the first time. This was the sixth straight year of growth following the Great Recession, leading to a new all-time high of $30.5 billion in gaming revenue in 2015.
Non-gaming amenities continued to expand at many Indian gaming facilities. In 2015, non-gaming revenue grew approximately 4.5% to an all-time high of $3.9 billion. Altogether, the $34.4 billion in gaming and non-gaming revenues were generated by 242 tribes operating nearly 357,000 gaming machines and 7,700 table games in 494 gaming facilities in 28 states.
Notably, Indian gaming’s growth outpaced that of the U.S. economy in 2015 (gross domestic product grew 2.5% and per capita disposable personal income grew 3.1%). It also outperformed other casino gaming segments to become the largest industry segment (the commercial casino segment grew 1.6% and the racino segment grew 4.2%).
While Indian gaming grew in the vast majority of states in which it existed (24 of 28), there was a wide disparity in performance across states, varying from approximately +16% in Texas to -14% in Wyoming. Furthermore, gaming revenue was highly concentrated among: (1) a relatively small number of very large Indian gaming facilities; (2) the largest Indian gaming states; and (3) Class III gaming.
Indian gaming generated significant economic impacts in 2015. First and foremost, Indian gaming continued to help promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong governments. Gaming profit is used by tribes to fund government operations, develop infrastructure, support social and economic programs and services, and finance other business ventures.
Indian gaming also continued to have a significant economic impact on surrounding communities and the general economy. Its total contribution to the U.S. economy, including both direct and secondary impacts, totaled approximately $103.0 billion in output (i.e., value of sales); 770,000 jobs; $35.5 billion in wages; and $12.3 billion in fiscal impact (including $1.8 billion in direct payments to federal, state, and local governments, and $10.5 billion in federal, state, and local taxes on secondary economic activity stimulated by Indian gaming).
In the 2016 edition, Dr. Alan Meister found that on a nationwide basis, calendar year 2014 growth of Indian gaming paralleled that of U.S. and state economies. Gross domestic product and per capita disposable personal income at the national level and in the vast majority of states grew at faster rates in 2014 versus 2013. Indian gaming’s 2% growth in 2014 was more than three times that in 2013. While the growth of Indian gaming was still below its pre-recession growth rate, Indian gaming experienced its fifth consecutive year of growth in 2014, the most recent year for which data are available. In addition, gaming revenue reached an all-time high of $28.9 billion. Non-gaming revenue grew 5% in 2014, more than double the growth rate of gaming revenue. This faster growth of non-gaming revenue was an ongoing trend as many Indian gaming facilities continued to develop non-gaming amenities to complement their gaming offerings and expand their operations. In the aggregate, there were 243 Native American tribes operating 490 gaming facilities in 28 states. While Indian gaming grew on a nationwide basis in 2014, there was significant variation in the performance of Indian gaming across states. The growth of gaming revenue ranged from +13% in Wyoming to -6% in New York. Of the 28 states with Indian gaming, 21 experienced gaming revenue growth. After Wyoming, Indian gaming grew fastest in Alabama and South Dakota, with all three states experiencing double-digit growth. On the other hand, Indian gaming in 7 states experienced a decline in gaming revenue. The largest declines after New York were in Idaho and Mississippi. In comparison, other segments of the gaming industry experienced mixed results in 2014 amidst Indian gaming’s growth. The racetrack casino (“racino”) segment outpaced Indian gaming, with growth of nearly 4%. Meanwhile, the commercial casino and card room segments each declined. The traditional commercial casino segment declined approximately 2% and the card room sector declined about 5%. The drop in gaming revenue for the commercial casino segment coupled with the growth of Indian gaming brought the two segments to almost equal shares of the casino gaming sector (44.2% for the commercial casino segment and 43.5% for Indian gaming).
In the 2015 edition, Dr. Alan Meister found that despite the struggling economy, Indian gaming on a nationwide basis experienced its fourth consecutive year of growth in calendar year 2013. Gaming revenue grew approximately 0.6%, reaching an all-time high of $28.3 billion. In the aggregate, there were 245 Native American tribes operating 484 gaming facilities in 28 states. Indian gaming growth in 2013 was slower paced than in previous years, and well below its pre-recession growth rate. The biggest culprit was the slowdown of the U.S. economy. Gross domestic product and per capita disposable personal income at the national level and in the vast majority of states grew at slower rates in 2013 versus 2012, and in fact, disposable personal income declined. Market maturation and increased competition in various parts of the country, particularly the Northeast and some of the Midwest, also slowed the growth of Indian gaming. In fact, Indian gaming in 19 of the 28 states experienced slower growth in 2013. In the face of these same economic conditions, other segments of the gaming industry also experienced slower gaming revenue growth in 2013. The commercial casino segment grew 1.5%, while the card room segment was flat and the racino segment declined -0.2%. The drop in gaming revenue in the racino segment was its first ever decline. While there was a slowdown on a nationwide basis in 2013, Indian gaming in many parts of the country enjoyed healthy growth. Of the 28 states with Indian gaming, 16 experienced gaming revenue growth. Indian gaming in Texas, Nebraska, North Carolina, and North Dakota all experienced double-digit growth on a statewide basis. On the other hand, Indian gaming in 12 states experienced a decline in gaming revenue. In all, the growth of gaming revenue ranged from +39% in Texas to -9% in Idaho. Gaming revenue was highly concentrated among a small number of states. Indian gaming in the top 10 states generated 85% of the $28.3 billion in total nationwide gaming revenue, with Indian gaming in California alone accounting for approximately 25%. Gaming revenue was also highly concentrated among a small number of Indian gaming facilities. The top 6% of facilities accounted for approximately 41% of nationwide gaming revenue and the top 29% accounted for approximately 84%. In contrast, the bottom 35% of facilities accounted for only 2% of nationwide revenue for Indian gaming.
In the 2014 edition, Dr. Alan Meister found that Indian gaming experienced modest growth in 2012. On a nationwide basis, gaming revenue grew approximately 2% to reach $28.2 billion, an all-time high. This was the third straight year of growth. However, in a slow-growth economy, the pace was slower than 2011 and prior to the Great Recession. Furthermore, growth of Indian gaming was markedly slower than that of other casino gaming segments. Nationwide, the commercial casino segment grew approximately 4% and the racetrack casino (racino) segment grew approximately 8%. The performance of Indian gaming varied widely across facilities, tribes, and states. Approximately 66% of Indian gaming facilities experienced gaming revenue growth in 2012, while about 34% experienced declines. Of the 28 states with Indian gaming, 22 experienced gaming revenue growth over 2012, ranging from +20% in Alaska to -8% in Connecticut. Gaming revenue remained concentrated among a relatively small number of gaming facilities and states. The top 31% of facilities accounted for 85% of gaming revenue, while the bottom 33% accounted for only 2%. Furthermore, the top 10 states generated 85% of gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities.
In the 2013 edition, Dr. Alan Meister found that despite a sluggish economy in 2011, Indian gaming sustained modest growth to bring it above its pre-recession gaming revenue level. On a nationwide basis, gaming revenue grew 3% to approximately $27.6 billion. This was the second straight year of growth following Indian gaming’s first and only decline in 2009 as a result of the Great Recession. Indian gaming grew at nearly twice the rate of the commercial casino segment, which was nearly 2% in 2011. However, the racino and cardroom segments outgrew Indian gaming with approximately 8% and 4% growth, respectively. Indian gaming did not grow everywhere or grow uniformly across the country. Approximately 65% of Indian gaming facilities experienced growth in gaming revenue in 2011, while about 35% experienced declines. At the state level, gaming revenue growth varied from +26% in Alabama to -6% in Idaho, with 79% of Indian gaming states experiencing growth over 2010. Gaming revenue was also very concentrated. The top 31% of facilities accounted for 85% of gaming revenue, while the bottom 33% accounted for only about 2%. Meanwhile, the top 2 states generated approximately 38% of gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities; the top 5 states generated about 61%; and the top 10 states generated 86%. In addition to the nationwide growth of gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities, non-gaming revenue grew nearly 5% to approximately $3.3 billion in 2011 after having declined the two previous years.
In the 2012 Edition, Dr. Alan Meister found that in the wake of the Great Recession Indian gaming showed signs of recovery in calendar year 2010. On a nationwide basis, gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities grew 1% to $26.7 billion. This growth followed Indian gaming’s first-ever decline of 1% in 2009 and marks a turnaround after five straight years of slower growth. Also on a nationwide basis, Indian gaming outperformed the commercial casino segment and the card room segment, which declined approximately 0.1% and 2%, respectively, in 2010. However, the racino segment outgrew Indian gaming with about 5% growth. While Indian gaming grew slightly on a nationwide basis in 2010, its performance varied widely across facilities, tribes, and states. At the state level, gaming revenue growth varied from +61% in Alabama to -9% in Nevada. Furthermore, it declined in 9 of 28 states, and in 51% of all Indian gaming facilities. Gaming revenue was also very concentrated. The top 30% of Indian gaming facilities generated 85% of gaming revenue, while the bottom 35% accounted for only 2% of gaming revenue.
In the 2011 Edition, Dr. Alan Meister found that the ailing economy took its toll on Indian gaming in 2009. In fact, on a nationwide basis, gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities declined for the first time in the recorded history of Indian gaming. According to the report, gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities nationwide decreased approximately 1%, from $26.8 billion in calendar year 2008 to $26.5 billion in calendar year 2009. This decline was slight considering the 7% decline in the commercial casino segment of the gaming industry, but continued the slowdown in Indian gaming over the past several years. Performance, however, varied widely across states, tribes, and gaming facilities. Although the majority of Indian gaming facilities suffered a decline in 2009, some grew. The states with the highest amounts of gaming revenue from Indian gaming were California, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Florida, and Washington, while Indian gaming grew fastest in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Texas, and Nebraska.
In the 2009-2010 Edition, Dr. Alan Meister attributed the slower growth of Indian gaming in 2008 to the recession. However, the slowing growth pattern of previous years was the result of public policies that restricted the supply of Indian gaming. According to the report, revenue from Indian gaming facilities was approximately $26.8 billion in 2008 and nearly 2%, the slowest growth in its reported history—though still respectable given the general economic downturn and the decline in the commercial gaming segment of the industry. Twelve of the states with Indian gaming experienced declines in gaming revenue, while 16 experienced growth. Growth was greatest in Alabama, Alaska, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Oklahoma became the second largest Indian gaming state after California. Together, California and Oklahoma accounted for approximately 40% of all gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities nationwide in 2008.
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