The State of Gambling

Where does Oklahoma rank nationally in Indian gaming?

Tribal gaming revenue in Oklahoma grew slightly slower in 2012 than in the previous year, but for the first time, the state had the most tribal gaming machines in the nation, surpassing California, a study found.

In 2012, the most recent year for data is available, Oklahoma’s gaming revenue rose by 6.6 percent, to $3.7 billion, compared with 7.7 percent in 2011, according to Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report, prepared by Alan Meister, an economist with Nathan Associates Inc.

Here are some other highlights from the report about measures of American Indian gaming in Oklahoma in 2012. There were no breakdowns in revenue or number of machines by tribe or casino.

• Oklahoma’s $3.7 billion in tribal gaming revenue was second highest in the nation, amounting to more than half of California’s $6.7 billion. Oklahoma has 33 gaming tribes, about half the number in California.

• The number of tribal gaming machines in Oklahoma increased by 7 percent, to 68,134. The additional machines comprised 85 percent of the total national increase of 5,327 in 2012.

Meister attributed the increase to the expansion of existing gaming facilities and the creation of several new casinos in the state, as well as Oklahoma attracting gamblers from nearby states with limited gaming, such as Texas and Arkansas.

“It’s a continuation of a trend that has been going on for a number of years in Oklahoma,” Meister said. “The tribes have been able to capitalize on limited gaming in surrounding states.”

• Oklahoma leads the nation in the number of American Indian gaming facilities, with 118. Many of those are small facilities in gas stations or tobacco shops; 45 percent of the state’s facilities had fewer than 300 gaming machines and 18 percent had fewer than 100 machines.

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