June 23, 2008 -
Just about every country
nowadays tolerates one form of betting or another. In the U.S.,
land-based gambling operations include everything from
sportsbooks, racetracks and Jai Lai to poker tournaments and
casino gambling. And although online casino gambling still
remains unregulated and feebly prohibited in the U.S., the fact
of the matter is that U.S. citizens continue to gamble at their
own will, whether online or in the nearest tribal casino.
In fact, tribal casino gambling has been the fastest growing
sector in the U.S. land-based gambling sector for some time now.
Even with a slower than average economy in 2007, tribal casino
gambling managed to outpace Las Vegas and proved its worth for
helping smaller, struggling economies throughout the U.S. Anyone
need just look at the progress both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun
have made, not to mention the billions they've paid to the State
of Connecticut in casino gambling taxes.
Although tribal gaming revenues in 2007 did not enjoy
double-digit revenue growth from the previous year in over ten
years, the 5% rise was far better than the 1.8% growth rate for
Nevada casinos in 2007. According to statistics of the National
Indian Gaming Commission, it was Region V that saw the most
growth (approximately 20%), translating into $2.6 billion in
revenue (largely due to continued expansion of casino style
games in Oklahoma). It was Region II (California and Nevada),
however, that generated the most revenue overall ($7.8
billion). The total amount of tribal casino revenue in the U.S.
last year was $26 billion, while land-based casino operations in
Nevada saw an intake of nearly $13 billion.
Even with the horizon of the economy not looking so bright, the
423 betting destinations operated by some 225 tribes in 28
States shouldn't worry so much. Now that the State of Florida
has passed legislation to allow casino style gambling at a
select number of gaming destinations, continued growth is
expected over 2008. Who should be worrying the most is Las
Vegas, where a huge boom in the construction of luxury condos
could end up serving to be in the nail in the coffin for a
number of casinos if the economy continues on a downward spiral.
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