The gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the Indian gaming industry for fiscal year 2019 (FY19) was jointly reported by Chairman E Sequoyah Simermeyer and Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause of the National Indian Gaming Commission. FY19 revenue amounted to $34.6 billion, a rise of 2.5 percent over 2018.
2019 marked the Indian gaming industry’s highest sales report ever in the 32 years since the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was enacted. Nearly every NIGC area experienced growth during FY19. The area of Oklahoma City saw the highest increase of 7.7 percent .
Simermeyer said: “Healthy tribal economies are important to promoting the tribal self-sufficiency envisioned in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
“The growth reflected in the 2019 gaming revenue demonstrates the strength of tribal economies in recent years. The Indian gaming industry is a vital component to many tribal economies across the country.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary closure of any tribal gaming activity, the reporting period for FY19 ended. Although the pandemic’s full impact has yet to be understood, many Indian gaming activities remain closed or operate at reduced capacity. Since March 2020, some have been closed. The effect of the pandemic on the Indian gaming industry will be reflected in the GGR report for Fiscal Year 2020.
Simermeyer added: “It is important to recognise the Pandemic’s impact on Tribes. Tribes’ dedication to a safe and sustainable Indian gaming industry is demonstrated in the preventative measures Tribes continue to take during the challenging economic times brought on by the Pandemic. This same dedication has fostered a successful and responsibly regulated Indian gaming industry over several decades.”
Vice Chair Isom-Clause said: “While we welcome this positive report from FY2019, we know that the current reality is dramatically different. Future reports will reflect the effects of the pandemic on the industry, as well as how it continues to adapt to changing circumstances. Despite these current hardships, Indian gaming, like the tribal nations it benefits, has proved its resiliency over the years.”
The FY19 GGR figure is determined by 245 federally recognised tribes across 29 states from 522 separately audited financial statements submitted to the NIGC. The GGR of an operation is the overall amount of money wagered minus any sums paid out as prizes and before operating expenses are deducted.
For more information on the FY19 GGR, including information by area and size of facility, as well as information on the effects of the Pandemic on the tribal gaming industry, please visit the NIGC website at www.nigc.gov.