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"Resilient" Tribal casinos still suffered 20% revenue decrease to $27.8bn for 2020

Tribal gross gaming revenue (GGR) for 2020 fell to $27.8bn in the US, unsuprisingly given the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and related casino shutdowns.

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What is perhaps surprising, however, is the fact revenue only fell 20% given the closures and subsequent social distancing measures that were enforced.

Tribes' "resilience" has been praised, although there is open acknowledgement that 2020's results have completely bucked the trend of year-on-year growth for tribal casinos.

National Indian Gaming Commission Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer said: "This GGR was expected; the unknown was just how much of an impact Covid-19 had on Indian gaming. Every year, the annual GGR figure tells a story about Indian gaming’s successes, contributions to Indian communities, and economic impacts.

"This was highlighted even more during the pandemic. Nevertheless, tribes were on the forefront of creating standards, developing new safety protocols, and sharing community resources. I foresee this decrease as only a temporary setback for Indian gaming."

The largest individual geographical decrease came in the Rapid City Region, where GGR fell by 37%. Overall US data was taken from a total of 524 independently audited financial statements from 248 federally recognised tribes across 29 states.

Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland added: “Despite the limits and uncertainty of the last year, it is important to focus on the sacrifices of and economic refuge provided by tribes and the community impacts.

"Tribal gaming has shown resilience and commitment, and continues to develop new roads to economic stability. I look forward to seeing Indian gaming continue to lead the way in efforts to reduce the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic."


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