Navajo Nation Posts Big Gains - June 11, 2012

"Most other New Mexico casinos show slight increases"

The latest “net win” totals released by the State of New Mexico Gaming Control Board shows gaming revenues in the first quarter of 2012 increased by around nine percent over the same quarter in 2011.

The total net win for the first three months of this year totaled $194.8 million compared to $178.6 million for the same three months in 2011.   All but two tribes showed increases when comparing the first quarters with the biggest gain posted by the Navajo Nation---a whopping $10 million more than one year ago.  The increase likely can be attributed to the opening in January 2012 of the third Navajo casino, Northern Edge, located near Farmington.  These figures have moved the Navajo Nation past Santa Ana Pueblo into fourth place among New Mexico casinos for net win for this quarter.

In the competitive Santa Fe-Espanola-Taos corridor, four of the five tribes showed increases when compared to the same quarter in 2011.  Santa Clara (Santa Claran Hotel-Casino) showed another big bump and that moved them past Tesuque (Camel Rock) in the rankings for this quarter.  Pojoaque (Buffalo Thunder, Cities of Gold) was up, while Tesuque and Taos (Taos Mountain Casino) showed slight increases.  Ohkay Owingeh continues to lose market share and posted another big decrease. What they lost seemed to go into the pocket of their closest competitor, Santa Clara.

Jicarilla (Apache Nugget Casino) was the only other gaming operation in the state to show a decrease and percentage wise it was a big hit.  All other gaming tribes had slight gains.

While only two casinos had big gains and only two were down, the relatively modest increases are reason for most tribes to celebrate.  That is an improvement over the fourth quarter of 2011 versus the same quarter in 2010, in which overall revenues decreased slightly.

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 net win is 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 goes to the tribe, as does bingo revenue. The state receives about 9.25% of the net win, or about $18 million this most recent quarter.

Tribal Gaming Rankings by Net Win

Tribe / 1st Qtr Net Win / Name of Casino(s) / Compared to 1th Qtr, 2011

  1. Pueblo of Sandia, $46, 207,209, Sandia Casino, +5.9%
  2. Pueblo of Laguna, $25,026,607, Dancing Eagle Casino, Route 66 Casino, +3.9%
  3. Pueblo of Isleta, $23,379,348, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, up .06%
  4. Navajo Nation, $22,182,752, Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Flowing Water Casino, +77%
  5. Pueblo of Santa Ana, $19,529,448, Santa Ana Star Casino, +7.7%
  6. Mescalero Apache Tribe, $16,181,828, Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino, Casino Apache Travel Center, +1.7%.
  7. Pueblo of Pojoaque, $14,053,658, Buffalo Thunder Casino, Sports Bar Casino, Cities of Gold Casino, +5%
  8. Pueblo of Santa Clara, $5,936,700, Santa Claran Hotel-Casino (Big Rock), +18%
  9. Pueblo of Tesuque, $5,684,160, Camel Rock Casino, +2.9%
  10. Pueblo of Acoma, $5,558,753, Sky City Casino, +7.2%
  11. Pueblo of San Felipe, $5,017,831, San Felipe Casino Hollywood, +3.1%
  12. Ohkay Owingeh, $3,272,918, Ohkay Casino, -15%
  13. Pueblo of Taos, $2,053,659, Taos Mountain Casino, +2.2%
  14. Jicarilla Apache Tribe, $790,379, Apache Nugget Casino, -16%