Oklahoma? Really? A gambler’s paradise?
I was reading a posting from the Tulsa World newspaper on the subject and thought you might find this as interesting as I do.
Cos to me, Oklahoma is one big wide stretch of open cowboy country.
It’s the 28th-largest population and the 29th-largest economy among the 50 states, and yet accounts for more gambling revenue than all but three.
An explosion of Indian casino gaming in the state is the reason.
The annual Indian Gaming Industry Report released last week shows that in 2009 Oklahoma tribes combined for $3.119 billion in gambling revenue and another $442 million in nongaming casino revenue – things such as food, drinks and hotels.
With Oklahoma’s tribal gaming revenue up nearly 7 percent, the state has passed Louisiana ($2.9 billion) as a gambling location and could some day pass No. 3 New Jersey ($3.7 billion), said the study’s author, Alan Meister, an economist with Nathan Associates Inc.
Nevada’s nation-leading $10.4 billion in gambling revenue and California’s $6.9 billion are still well out of Oklahoma’s league, but the state’s Indian casinos are already achieving revenue well in advance of the state’s perceived place in the market, Meister said.
“When people hear about how big Oklahoma Indian gaming is, they say, ‘How can that be?’ ” Meister said.
Amen. It’s what I was wondering.
Nationwide, Indian gambling revenue was down $236.2 million, or about 1 percent, for the year, but Oklahoma’s gambling figures were growing robustly.
The state is home to 111 gambling facilities run by 31 tribes and offering 59,881 gambling machines and 843 gaming tables, the report shows.