Indian Gaming Revenues Drop Slightly - March 1, 2012

"The net win for gaming machines at the 14 tribes and pueblos is down in the fourth quarter of 2011..."

Tough economic times and the proliferation of casinos in New Mexico may be the cause of flat gaming revenues for Indian casinos in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Figures released by the State of New Mexico Gaming Control Board show that the net win for gaming machines at the 14 tribes and pueblos totaled $171,341,838 for October, November and December of last year.  That is down $1,088,193 compared to the same quarter in 2010.

In the Santa Fe-Espanola-Taos corridor, three of the five casinos showed increases when compared to the same quarter in 2010.   Pojoaque (Buffalo Thunder, Cities of Gold) showed another solid increase compared to the previous year and this was done in-house without any management group.  The Fine group was fired in early 2010 and the new management group came on board in January, 2012.  Santa Clara (Santa Claran Hotel-Casino) showed the biggest percentage increase amongst the northern casinos.  Tesuque (Camel Rock) was slightly up.  Ohkay showed the biggest percentage decrease and Taos was down slightly.

Elsewhere in the state, Laguna (Dancing Eagle, Route 66 casinos) took a big shot, down almost $3 million compared to the same quarter one year ago.  Sandia Casino continues steady growth as does the Navajo Nation’s gaming operations.

Each gaming tribe reports their “net win” on a quarterly basis. The definition of “net win,” according to the Gaming Control Board, “is the amount wagered on gaming machines, less the amount paid out in cash and non-cash prizes won on the gaming machines, less State and Tribal Regulatory Fees.” Net win, according to the Gaming Board, “is not the net profit of the casino.

Basically, it’s the casino’s “hold” of each slot or poker machine, or the percentage of money they get for each dollar that is played through a machine. The State of New Mexico does not get any revenue from any of the other gaming activity at an Indian casino, so any revenues generated through the black jack, craps, roulette, pai gow or poker tables go to the tribe, as does bingo revenue. The state receives about 9.25% of the net win, or about $15 million this most recent quarter.

Tribal Gaming Rankings by Net Win

Tribe/4th Quarter Net Win/ Name of Casino(s) / Compared to 4th Quarter, 2010

  1. Pueblo of Sandia, $41,596,728, Sandia Casino, up 5.9%
  2. Pueblo of Laguna, $21,530,842, Dancing Eagle Casino, Route 66 Casino, -14.2%
  3. Pueblo of Isleta, $21,577,619 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, -1%
  4. Mescalero Apache Tribe, $15,467,311, Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino, Casino Apache Travel Center, -3%
  5. Pueblo of Santa Ana, $16,863,380 Santa Ana Star Casino, - .07%
  6. Pueblo of Pojoaque, $13,534,636, Buffalo Thunder Casino, Sports Bar Casino, Cities of Gold Casino, +8.8%
  7. Navajo Nation, $11,533,915, Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Flowing Water Casino, +5.5%
  8. Pueblo of Tesuque, $5,930,779, Camel Rock Casino, +2.1%
  9. Pueblo of Santa Clara, $5,648,320, Santa Claran Hotel-Casino (Big Rock), +9.9%
  10. Pueblo of Acoma, $5,039,328, Sky City Casino, -5.6%
  11. Pueblo of San Felipe, $4,913,028, San Felipe Casino Hollywood, -5.7
  12. Ohkay Owingeh, $3,029,384, Ohkay Casino, -22%
  13. Pueblo of Taos, $1,953,377, Taos Mountain Casino, -2.3%
  14. Jicarilla Apache Tribe, $1,376,604, Apache Nugget Casino, +2.8%