Tribal Gambling Revenue Up

May 03, 2012

Arizona has seen its revenue from tribal casinos rise for the seventh consecutive quarter. Arizona reports Wednesday that tribes' payments to the state will be about $24 million for the last quarter. Nevada and New Mexico have seen a similar increase.

Arizona Gaming Director Mark Brnovich said the recession has been particularly hard on casinos. He said so much of gambling revenue is driven by people’s discretionary income.

"When people have less money to spend, they’re not going to go to casinos they’re going to buy bread, food and gas," Brnovich said.

But that’s changing. Brnovich says revenues are up 7 percent compared to the same time last year. Across the country almost every jurisdiction has seen an increase in tribal gaming revenue. While it's not the only sector of the economy, he said it’s a good indication people have more money to spend.

Arizona payments will go toward education, emergency services, tourism and problem gambling prevention.