RubinBrown Gaming Stats 2014
Growth The Phoenix Region saw the strongest year of growth since the economic recession of 2008, increasing revenue by 3.9%. The increase in growth can be attributed to the overall economic market continuing to improve and the Navajo Nation’s expansion into gaming. Challenges Litigation and state negotiations are the greatest challenges facing tribes in the Phoenix Region. Five of the 14 tribes operating casinos in New Mexico are in negotiations with the state to renew their gaming compacts. The negotiation process has been contentious at times as the state is seeking greater revenue contributions. In Arizona, the Tohono O’odham Nation’s push for gaming in Glendale continues to be debated in the court system, state legislature, and United States Congress. Opportunities Opportunities for growth within the Phoenix Region have focused on claiming greater market share. Tribes like the Pueblo of Isleta have gone through rebranding efforts to provide greater diversification between facilities. Expansion beyond gaming also continues to be a major focus for many tribes in the region. Region Specific News The Tohono O’odham Nation’s push for gaming in Glendale, Arizona met opposition from the United States Congress in 2013. Arizona Congressman Trent Franks sponsored legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would prohibit the development of casinos in the Phoenix metro area until 2027. Had this bill been passed or successfully added to other legislation, the measure would have provided precedent for state and local governments to use federal legislation as a means to restrict tribal development. The Fort-Sill Apache Tribe, originally based in New Mexico territory, won a lawsuit against the state of New Mexico requiring Governor Susana Martinez to recognize the Fort-Sill Apache Tribe as a New Mexico tribe. In 2011, the tribe successfully placed a 30 acre parcel of land into trust. The Fort-Sill Apache is composed of four bands of the Chiricahua Apache who lived in what is now New Mexico until being detained at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1894. The Navajo Nation opened Twin Arrows Casino, located outside Flagstaff. Twin Arrows is the Navajo Nation’s fourth casino and offers over 1,100 slot machines, table games, and a poker room. The Navajo Nation also plans to build a gas station, outlet mall, housing development, and entertainment complex on land neighboring the casino.
20 | 2014 Commercial & Tribal Gaming Stats
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