Santa Fe Area Casino Earnings Flat - March 11, 2013

Navajo Casinos Post Big Gains in Fourth Quarter; Sandia Shows Rare Negative Growth

Recently released numbers for the fourth quarter of 2012 show two of the four Santa Fe/Espanola area casinos posting gains over the same quarter in 2011, but overall growth was minimal.

Ohkay Owingeh, which had been seeing slippage over the past few quarters, posted a 9.4 percent gain.  The Pueblo of Pojoaque’s casinos (Buffalo Thunder and Cities of Gold) had a gain of less than one percent while Tesuque’s casino (Camel Rock) was down three percent and Santa Clara was down 2.8 percent.

Statewide net win numbers released by the New Mexico Gaming Control Board showed an overall 6.2 percent increase thanks to big gains by the Navajo casinos.  With new casinos coming online in 2012 and with little geographical competition, the Navajo Nation’s net win numbers were up almost 80 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011.   The Navajo casinos moved up one place in the standings were the fourth largest Indian Gaming entity in New Mexico in October, November and December of 2012.

Sandia Casino, which had shown gains every quarter, was down four percent, but remains the highest grossing casino in New Mexico.

These numbers reflect the latest “net win” totals released by the State of New Mexico Gaming Control Board, which show that gaming revenues in the third quarter of 2012 increased by 4.8 percent over the same quarter in 2011.

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”.   From the net win a casino pays for all operational expenses, promotional prizes and rewards.

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 $16.4 million this most recent quarter.

Tribal Gaming Rankings by Net Win

Ranking / Tribe / 4th Qtr Net Win 2012 / Name of Casino(s) / Compared to 4th Qtr, 2012

1. Pueblo of Sandia, $42,336,479, Sandia Casino, -4%

2. Pueblo of Laguna, $23,020,792 Dancing Eagle Casino, Route 66 Casino, +7%

3.  Pueblo of Isleta, $21,407,526, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Isleta Gaming Palace, -1%

4. Navajo Nation, $20,685,139, Fire Rock Navajo Casino, Flowing Water Casino, +79%

5.  Pueblo of Santa Ana, $17,525,279, Santa Ana Star Casino, +4%

6.  Mescalero Apache Tribe, $15,926,161, Inn of the Mountain Gods, Casino Apache, +3%.

7. Pueblo of Pojoaque, $13,647,755, Buffalo Thunder, Cities of Gold Casino, +0.83%

8. Pueblo of Santa Clara, $5,493,341, Santa Claran Hotel-Casino (Big Rock), -2.8%

9. Pueblo of Acoma, $5,365,289, Sky City Casino, +6.5%

10. Pueblo of Tesuque, $5,139,219, Camel Rock Casino, -3%

11. Pueblo of San Felipe, $4,555,900, San Felipe Casino Hollywood, +2.4%

12. Ohkay Owingeh, $3,315,951, Ohkay Casino, +9.4%

13. Pueblo of Taos, $2,013,033, Taos Mountain Casino, +3%

14. Jicarilla Apache Tribe, $1,687,713, Apache Nugget Casino, +22%