The National Indian Gaming Commission, which oversees eight tribal gaming regions in the US, reported a 10% increase in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in fiscal year 2022 for the D.C. region, which includes North Carolina’s three tribal casinos.
The NIGC, saw a total national GGR of $40.9 billion, the highest revenue total ever recorded by the commission and a 5% increase over FY2021.
Despite a revenue dip in FY2020, during which the country’s retail gaming industry was mostly shuttered due to COVID-19, the NIGC has seen steady revenue growth for tribal gaming over its 35-year existence.
In an introductory letter prepared by NIGC Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer and Vice Chair Jeanie Hovland, the NIGC states, “This National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) FY 2022 Report reflects the resiliency of tribal gaming operations, and how tribal gaming continues to rebound and remain strong.”
About the Report
The NIGC Gross Gaming Revenue Report is an overall aggregate of the gaming revenues collected from all 519 Indian entities that operate gaming. Those come from a collection of 244 different tribes located across 29 states. Each of the various tribes, including the North Carolina tribal casinos, must submit financial statements within 120 days after the end of the fiscal operation year.
Fast Facts and Stats From the 2022 Report
The eight regions identified by the NIGC are: Sacramento, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, D.C., Portland, Rapid City and St. Paul. Key facts and findings from the FY2022 Gross Gaming Revenue Report were:
- $40.9 billion in gross gaming revenue, representing the highest year ever
- 4.9% increase in revenue from FY2021
- An addition of nine total gaming operations across the country from FY2021 to FY2022
- In the last 20 years, the only year with a decrease in revenue was 2020 (COVID-19)
- Only one region (Sacramento) saw a year-over-year revenue decrease (1.4%)
- Sacramento also represented the highest-grossing region at $11.8 billion in GGR
- 8% of operations accounted for 51% of all revenue
- Annual GGR across the country has nearly tripled in the last 20 years:
- FY2002 GGR: $14.7 billion
- FY2022 GGR: $40.9 billion
Key Stats from the D.C. Region
The D.C. region comprises gaming operations from seven states: New York, Connecticut, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida. Within the D.C. region, key data points include:
- The second-highest grossing region at $9.0 billion across 41 Operations
- Across the 41 operations, there is an average of $219 million in yearly gross revenue
- A 10.8% revenue increase over FY2021 ($8.1 billion)
Tribal casinos in North Carolina expect growth
Looking at the 41 gaming operations in the D.C. region, the North Carolina facilities, which include Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, Harrah’s Cherokee and Catawba Two Kings Casino, are poised for growth.
The expansion at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River is scheduled for a 2024 ribbon cutting. Meanwhile, the Catawba Two Kings Casino has re-started work on the infrastructure around the temporary casino, though not on the permanent casino structure.
The Catawba Nation elected a new chief, Brian Harris, who said he would prioritize casino development.
When those two facilities eventually open, the boost in traffic to North Carolina tribal casinos will give the DC region a sizable revenue boost.
The potential for more expansion of NC casinos and the launch of online sports betting in North Carolina may also factor into revenue growth in the region. Nothing has likely been factored in about a possible addition of online casino platforms such as Caesars Casino.
Other states within the D.C. Regions, such as Louisiana, Connecticut and New York, legalized online sports betting, and the region had the second-highest increase in revenue percentage of all the regions in the country. From that perspective, the mobile launches may have been a help in those revenue numbers.
One could infer that since users across various states can bet online, they may be less inclined to go to an in-person venue. However, based on data from this report, instead of detracting people from in-person betting, mobile sports betting may support retail venues by bringing more sports bettors into the marketplace.