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The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) announced this afternoon that tribal gaming revenue  reached a record high of $41.9 billion in fiscal 2023. 

The record revenues in fiscal ‘23 represent a 2.4% increase — roughly a $1 billion — over the $40.9 billion in tribal gaming revenue reported in fiscal 2022. The revenue growth reflects the viability of tribal gaming operations, as tribal gaming continues to adapt to technological advances and changes in consumer preferences, according to an NIGC news release issued this afternoon.  

Sharon M. Avery, acting chairwoman of the NIGC, and Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland made the announcement at the Wisconsin Gaming Regulators Association Summer Conference in Green Bay, Wis. The NIGC is a federal agency established in 1988 under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) to regulate and support tribal gaming.

“These results demonstrate the effectiveness of a strong regulatory framework combined with the diversity of tribal gaming operations,” Avery said in a statement. “Tribal leadership and operators have consistently shown their ability to innovate and adapt, ensuring tribal gaming remains a cornerstone of economic sustainability in Indian Country.”

In a statement, Hovland commended tribal regulators, operators and leaders for “navigating a competitive market underscores the enduring strength of tribal sovereignty and the ongoing benefits of gaming expertise for tribal nations, as envisioned by IGRA.”

“The progress really speaks to the work ethic that exists in Indian Country,” Ernie Stevens, Jr., chairman of the nonprofit Indian Gaming Association said on Thursday afternoon. “It goes from tribal leaders, Indian gaming regulators to the frontline casino employees at our facilities. They work hard every day to ensure they provide the best possible hospitality in the casinos and resorts’ restaurants and rooms.”

According to the NIGC's 2023 Annual Report, this continued growth reflects the industry's capacity to embrace technological advancements and shifting consumer preferences. Tribal operations are implementing new offerings alongside the established integrity and compliance practices that have been a hallmark of tribal gaming regulation for over three decades.

The report provides detailed information on the performance of each NIGC region and highlights the remarkable growth of tribal gaming over the past two decades. Since 2004, overall tribal gaming revenues have more than doubled, rising every year save for 2020 during the pandemic. While some have predicted a slowdown in the industry, IGA's Stevens remains optimistic about the future of tribal gaming, in part because of the important role it plays funding services for tribal citizens.  

“I like to think we’ve only just begun," Stevens said.  “We know it’s our responsibility to prepare for the next seven generations.”

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