All the Gaming Industry News That’s Fit to Print

Gale Courey Toensing
4/25/11

No matter how trivial (or significant) the fact you’re seeking about the gaming industry, odds are very good that it’s in the massive new Gaming Almanac

Canada and the United States generated $100.9 billion in gaming revenues in 2009—a 3.52 percent drop from the previous year, according to the 2011 edition of Casino City’s North American Gaming Almanac. Gaming in Canada provided one percent of that country’s gross domestic product (GDP), while in the United States it contributed 0.63 percent of the GDP. Overall, gaming added 0.66 percent to the North American GDP.

The 624-page North American Gaming Almanac contains an astonishing amount (and array) of information about the industry. The annual publication, now in its sixth year (it was released on April 20), includes market, financial and regulatory information about Indian, commercial and charitable gaming, both land-based and online, in the United States and Canada. It provides state-by-state and province-by-province profiles with facts and figures for all gaming activities; four years of comparative revenue data for all jurisdictions as well as inflation-adjusted numbers; total numbers for types of gaming facilities, gaming devices, and gaming tables in each jurisdiction. The almanac also provides details on more than 1,400 gaming properties, including physical address, phone and fax numbers, website and e-mail addresses, property owner, types of table games and gaming machines, entertainment venues, attractions, hours of operation and even restaurant names and cuisines. The regulatory body for each gambling activity in the jurisdiction is also included. And there is so many more facts and details available.

This is the go-to place for everything from how many slot machines are in operation at the Ute Mountain Casino Hotel & Resort in Colorado to the racino nearest to Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.

The almanac opens with an overview of gaming in North America, which includes all gaming and wagering activities in the U.S. and Canada—casino gaming (commercial, tribal and charitable), gaming machine outlets, lotteries, commercial bingo, pari-mutuel track and sports betting and charitable gambling.

The 3.52 percent drop in overall gaming revenues from 2008 to 2009 meant a decrease from $104.58 billion to $100.9 billion. Canadian gaming saw the biggest drop (by percentage), with revenues falling from $13.46 billion in 2008 to $12.66 billion the next year—a 5.97 percent decrease. U.S. gaming revenues, by comparison, decreased 3.15 percent from $91.12 billion in 2008 to $88.24 billion in 2009.

Among the key findings for the U.S. and Canadian gaming industries are:

  • Casino and card room gaming accounted for 47 percent of total North American gaming revenue, lotteries for 24 percent, tribal gaming for 26 percent, and race and sports wagering for three percent.
  • Revenues for tribal gaming and lotteries declined slightly by 0.88 percent and 0.93 percent respectively, while revenues from casino and card room gaming declined 5.78 percent.
  • The largest decline—9.23 percent—was in race and sports wagering.

While casinos and card rooms represented the largest segment of gaming revenues in North America—47 percent—their revenues actually dropped from $49.9 billion in 2008 to $47 billion in 2009. “Casino gaming is well established in the United States and Canada,” according to the almanac. “Current trends indicate increased popularity of video lottery terminals in large casinos, stand-alone locations (stores, bars, and restaurants), and at racetracks (racinos) are found both in the U.S. and Canada. Approved and pending legislation suggests that more of these facilities will open in the near future.

Lottery revenues fell from $24.2 billion to $24 billion while Indian gaming revenues declined from $26.9 billion to $26.6 billion. Race and sports betting took the biggest hit declining from $3.6 billion to $3.3 billion.
Gaming machines abound throughout Canada and the U.S. There are 740,435 slot machines, 107,708 video gaming machines, 105,089 video lottery terminals (VLTs), 8,160 electronic bingo machines and 250 electronic gaming machines for a grand total of 961,642 gaming machines.

In addition to the figures and statistics, the North American Gaming Almanac is packed with interesting gaming-related information:

  • Kahnawake, the Mohawk Nation near Montreal, has the only legal online gaming operation in the U.S. and Canada, according to the almanac. Some jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada allow horse- and dog-track betting on the Internet or allow customers to buy tickets for state or provincial lotteries online, and there are initiatives in several states and in the U.S. Congress to pass online gambling bills, but Kahnawake, a sovereign First Nation within the boundaries of Canada, licenses casino gaming, poker, sports betting, skill gaming and betting exchanges via remote channels. “Casino City considers pari-mutuel wagers placed via the Internet on race and sports activities in North America to be a race and sports wagering activity. It also considers lottery purchases placed via the state/provincial lottery websites to be a lottery activity,” according to the almanac.
  • Unlike Indian gaming in the U.S., which is regulated by the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, Canadian gaming is administered at the provincial level. Canada’s federal government removed itself from gaming in 1969. The provinces have their own regulations, but all major forms of gaming are available to Canadians, including commercial and tribal casinos, lotteries, pari-mutuel wagering and charitable gaming. Gaming began to surge in Canada in the 1990s, when provincial governments began legalizing permanent casinos and VLTs. By 2005, 69 percent of Canadian households reported some form of gaming activity for that year.
  • The government of Vermont has a monopoly on gaming in that state. Vermont’s gaming industry consists of a lottery and charitable gaming. “Vermont has no casino gambling, as professional gambling is illegal in the state,” according to the almanac. The state-run Vermont Lottery introduced multi-state Powerball in July 2003. The year 2009 saw a 3.39 percent drop in lottery revenues from $36.23 million to $35 million. There are no federally acknowledged American Indian tribes in Vermont. A recent bill to establish a process to grant “state recognition” to a number of Abenaki bands has a provision reiterating that the legislation does not grant the bands the right to operate gaming facilities.
  • Rhode Island also has a state monopoly on gaming. Rhode Island offers VLTs at the state’s two pari-mutuel licensed facilities: Twin River, in Lincoln, and the Newport Grand, in Newport. In 2009, gaming revenues in the state fell from $579.36 million to $562.49 million—a 2.91 percent drop. State officials have blocked the federally acknowledged Narragansett Indian Tribe from exercising its right under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to conduct gaming.
  • Yukon (known as the Yukon Territory until the Canadian government shortened its name in 2003) offers a lottery, charitable gaming and casino gaming, but all three are classified as charitable gaming, according to the almanac. Yukon is home to Canada’s oldest casino—Diamond Tooth Gertie’s Gambling Hall. Gertie’s Gambling Hall is the only casino in Yukon, and it is run by the Klondike Visitors Association. The almanac reports that Yukon has 64 slots, three poker tables and 12 other table games—all of them at Gertie’s. Revenues fell from $2.38 million in 2008 to $2.37 million the next year, a drop of 0.4 percent.

You can purchase the almanac on-line at CasinoCityPress.com.

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