ALBANY – New York’s Indian tribes saw the sharpest decline in gambling revenues of any state in 2011, as new competitors ate into their profits, a new report has found.
The three tribes in New York with gambling halls, including the Seneca Nation, saw a nearly 3 percent overall drop in revenues in 2011 while tribes nationwide saw a 3 percent revenue increase from betting operations, according to Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report.
The sour performance by New York’s tribes came as the state expanded its own Lottery offerings, casinos spread in Pennsylvania, and additional racetrack-based casino gambling offerings came on line in New York.
All of New York’s Indian casinos are located upstate, a region of the state still facing growing economic concerns.
The report for the Boston area firm was authored by California economist Alan Meister, whose study did not break out individual gambling revenue performance for New York’s three tribes. While New York’s tribes saw an overall drop of 2.6 percent in revenues, Alabama led the nation with a 26 percent increase. Other states seeing Indian gambling revenue declines include Connecticut, Oregon and Idaho.
The Seneca Nation operates three casinos, while the Oneida Nation and the St. Regis Mohawks run one apiece. In all, the New York tribes brought in $921.4 million in revenues, down from $946 million in 2010. Non-gambling revenues at the casinos also fell during the year.
The $921.4 million in gambling revenue put New York tribes at number 10 nationwide, far behind the $6.9 billion generated by 62 tribes in California.
The report suggested those states with declining revenues are becoming more saturated with gambling opportunities at a time when the economy is still sluggish. The numbers come as New York officials, led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are pushing a plan to permit up to seven non-Indian casinos; precisely where those casinos might be located has not been decided in talks at the Capitol.