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Tribal gaming revenue up; two new casinos considered

Mar 9, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Gaming revenue generated by the Wind River Indian Reservation's two tribes grew by 1 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year, according to a report showing the latest figures for the nation's American Indian casino industry.

Although Casino City Press Publication's Indian Gaming Industry Report by economist Alan Meister indicated the slight revenue growth in the area's gaming operations, specific amounts for Wyoming's industry were not listed due to confidentiality.

The gaming revenue growth by the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone in 2010 compared to a nearly 10 percent jump in 2009 and almost 39 percent increase in 2008, according to the report.

The report mentioned ongoing developments for the tribes that included the debut of the Wind River Casino Hotel and a potential new site based on paperwork filed with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Gaming Management.

New properties?

The report states "the Northern Arapaho Tribe has a land-into-trust gaming application pending before the BIA for a casino in Hot Springs County."

The report also cites plans for a second casino by the Eastern Shoshone Tribe north of Riverton.

The Wind River Indian Reservation boasts four casinos total. The Northern Arapaho Tribe operates the Wind River Casino and the 789 Smoke Shop and Casino, both located just south of Riverton, and the Little Wind Casino in Ethete.

The Eastern Shoshone Tribe operates the Shoshone Rose Casino located north of Lander on Highway 287.

The four locations had a total of 1,500 gaming machines, live bingo and 10 table games in 2010, according to the report. The number of machines increased by 10 percent from the previous year.

The nation's gaming industry operated by American Indian tribes rebounded slightly in 2010 after recording its first drop in revenues in 2009, when figures showed a 1 percent decrease.

The four years prior to 2009 showed a slowing rate of growth.

Tribal gaming share

"On a nationwide basis, gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities increased a little over 1 percent," according to the report.

"In 2010, Indian gaming generated approximately 44 percent of all U.S. casino gaming revenue," the report states. "This was only a slightly smaller share than the commercial casinos segment, which led the way with approximately 45 percent of casino gaming revenue."

Nationwide American Indian casino operations in 2010 generated $26.7 billion in gaming revenue and $3.2 billion in related non-gaming revenue from 448 facilities in 28 states.

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Wind River Indian Reservation