July 12, 2007

Gaming the economic engine

Report tells the Indian gaming storyGaming is still the most successful economic development initiative in Indian country. A recently released research report leaves little doubt that this will continue to be the case in the coming years.

The Indian gaming industry in 2006 sustained its year-over-year expansion, with revenue growth of 11 percent. While this marks a decline from the industry average of 14.6 percent growth between 1997 and 2006, one industry expert remains confident that expansion will endure.

Alan Meister is an economist with the Analysis Group, a Los Angeles-based financial consulting firm. His "Indian Gaming Industry Report" paints a thorough and upbeat picture for the future of tribal gaming.

"Amidst some future uncertainties, the outlook for Indian gaming as a whole remains positive," Meister wrote in the report. "While proposed legislative and regulatory changes if enacted could slow the growth of Indian gaming somewhat, particularly with regards to new gaming land acquisitions and Class II gaming, they are not likely to stop the growth of established Class III gaming. And if renegotiated gaming compacts are ultimately ratified by the California State Legislature, there is likely to be sizeable growth on the horizon in California, and as a result for nationwide Indian gaming."

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