The Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) announced that $17,631,406 in tribal gaming contributions were made to the Arizona Benefit Fund in the three month period, a 4% decrease on the same timeframe in fiscal year 2020.
Ted Vogt, ADG director commented: “While we did see a small decrease in contributions this quarter, I believe that the overall strength of Arizona’s economy and the resiliency of Tribal gaming in the state will make this downturn short-lived.”
Per the Arizona Tribal-State Gaming Compact, Tribes with casinos contribute 1 to 8 percent of their Class III gross gaming revenue to the state, cities, towns and counties. Currently, there are 24 Class III casinos in the state, including the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino (pictured).
As is to be expected, restrictions enacted to counter the Covid pandemic led to much of the land-based revenue loss. At full operation that state’s 24 regulated gaming properties comprises 13,640 Class III devices, 163 Class II units, and 431 tables games between them.
The announcement of the revenue contribution drop comes as their very future is in the balance.
Governor Doug Ducey is currently attempting to finalise new gaming compacts with tribal stakeholders, but progress has been halted due to the progress of a far-reaching gambling bill.
It is understood that the tribes are on board with both the new compact agreements, and the opening of online sports wagering, but are vociferously opposed to legalizing historic horse racing games. A representative of the Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise has already stated the tribes would be forced to re-evaluate their compacts should Senate Bill 1794 be signed into law – potentially jeopardizing all revenue contributions.