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Glacier Peak Casino in Browning has reopened to limited capacity as we look at the NIGC FY 2023 report.
Glacier Peak Casino in Browning has reopened to limited capacity after the Blackfeet tribal government made the decision to reopen the reservation and loosen restrictions on reservation businesses and restaurants. Photo by: RION SANDERS/GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE via Imagn.

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has revealed growth for the sector in all eight regions across the U.S. The commission supports and promotes tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments through the operation of gaming on Indian lands; in some cases, that includes deals with our best sportsbooks.

Its Full-Year 2023 fiscal report covers 29 states, 245 tribes, and 527 tribal-owned, licensed, and operated legal gambling entities on American soil. A revenue record for such establishments across the country was set two years ago, while last year bettered those totals again.

The 2023 fiscal results were solid and hailed by NIGC acting chairwoman Sharon M. Avery in a statement last week. She said, “This year’s GGR results demonstrate how a strong regulatory framework and diversity of tribal gaming enterprises generates growth in the gaming industry. Again, this year, tribal gaming operators and regulators have proven that their ingenuity and tenacity are catalysts for growth, even in the face of an ever-changing gaming landscape. This steadfastness will ensure that tribal gaming remains a valuable resource for continued economic sustainability in tribal communities.”

The numbers

According to the NIGC, gross gaming revenues totaled a staggering $41.9 billion for the fiscal year 2023. This represents a 2.4% year-over-year revenue increase for tribal operators in America—an over $1 billion improvement from 2022.

Growth for Tribal operators came despite the increasing cost of doing business in the American market. Licensing fees, regulatory changes, expansion and renovation costs, and other factors threatened to affect the bottom line of Tribal operators in America. Those factors did not end up affecting the impressive revenue totals.

Sacramento region tops list

All eight regions included under the NIGC umbrella posted revenue gains for the year. Six saw a 1.4% to 2.8% year-over-year revenue gain.

The Sacramento region, which includes California sports betting and parts of Nevada sports betting, was the most successful of the eight regions across America. It alone generated just under $12 billion in revenues from 87 operators, a 1.8% year-over-year increase.

The D.C. region, which has 44 Tribal-owned operators, is the second-most successful in America, with $9.1 billion in gross revenue, a 2.4% year-over-year increase for that particular area. The region includes an expansive swath of states, including New York sports bettingNorth Carolina sports betting, Alabama, Mississippi sports bettingLouisiana sports betting, and DC sports betting.

The St. Paul region claimed the final podium spot with nearly $5.1 billion in gross revenue for the Fiscal Year 2023, only slightly better than $4.9 billion in 2022. The Portland region, consisting of Oregon sports bettingWashington sports betting, Idaho, and Alaska, was fourth with $4.5 billion in gross revenue for the year.

The biggest percentage growth came in the Phoenix region, which consists of Arizona sports bettingColorado sports betting, New Mexico, and parts of Nevada. It claimed $3.9 billion in revenue for 2023, a 5.5% year-over-year increase.

Numbers consistently heading upward

Tribal gaming in the American market has seen tremendous revenue gains over the last decade. It has, in a sense, mirrored the legalization and incredible growth of the legal mobile gambling scene across the country.

In 2014, the NIGC reported $28.5 billion in yearly revenues, which swelled to $41.9 billion 10 years later. Since then, wagering activity and revenue have increased every year.

There is little reason to think that the trend is slowing, with new markets and new opportunities for Tribal operators seemingly popping up every month.