Indian gaming revenues reach historic high of almost $41 billion in FY 2022

The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has reported that Indian gaming revenues in fiscal year 2022 soared to a historic high, reaching nearly $41 billion. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) for FY 2022 saw a 5% increase from the previous year, totaling $40.9 billion, an increase of nearly $2 billion over fiscal 2021.

Out of all the markets with Indian gaming, Sacramento brought in the most revenue in FY22, at $11.8 billion. However, it was also the only one to experience a year-on-year decrease (at 1%), while Phoenix was the market with the largest revenue jump at 16%, reaching $3.7 billion.

The highly anticipated announcement was made at the Chickasaw Nation’s WinStar World Casino and Resort in Thackerville, Oklahoma. E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, chairman of the NIGC, expressed his enthusiasm about the record-breaking figures. He stated: “This year’s historic revenue reflects the resiliency of many tribal gaming operations, and how tribal gaming continues to rebound and remain strong.”

Chairman Simermeyer emphasized that tribal governments and the operations they license are exploring “new and innovative ways to expand and deliver world-class experiences to cultivate sustainable economies.”

He also acknowledged the challenges faced by the tribal casino closures in March 2020 due to the pandemic, noting how Indian gaming operations have managed to overcome these obstacles and emerge stronger.

Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr, chairman of the Indian Gaming Association, also expressed satisfaction with the numbers and credited tribal leaders, casino operators, managers, and regulators for their dedication to the industry’s growth. 

Indian gaming was established through the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act by the United States Congress on October 17, 1988, to regulate gaming on Indian Lands. The Act created the National Indian Gaming Commission and the regulatory structure for Indian gaming in the United States.

The FY 2022 GGR numbers are calculated from 519 audited financial statements of 244 tribes that operate Indian gaming operations in 29 states in the United States. Seven of NIGC’s eight regions showed an increase over FY 2021.

Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland (Flandreau Santee Sioux) was also present at the announcement in Oklahoma. She noted this year’s GGR reflects “Indian gaming geographic and financial diversity,” with 55% of tribal gaming facilities reporting less than $25 million in revenues.