Tag Archives: Arizona Indian Gaming Association

New Construction on Vee Quiva Casino

Casino revenues grow faster than national rate

Indian gaming revenue in Arizona grew by 3 percent in 2012, even though no new facilities came online and the number of games in the state actually declined that year.

The numbers were included in a recent report by Casino City Press, which said revenue at Arizona’s 22 tribal casinos grew by about $50 million, from almost $1.75 billion in 2011 to $1.8 billion in 2012.

That was a faster growth rate than the average for the nation, where tribal casinos saw a 2 percent increase in revenues, rising $500 million to $28.1 billion in 2012. Arizona was sixth among states for overall revenues in tribal casinos and 14th for the rate of growth, the report said.

Calls to the Arizona Indian Gaming Association and to several tribes with gaming facilitates in the state were not returned. But other experts pointed to several possible factors behind the increase.

Bob Ellsworth, an instructor for gaming management at the University of Nevada, Reno, said it could be that “the head count … either that has increased or … how much each player spends – puts at risk – has gone up. Or it’s a combination of both.”

Ellsworth said those changes could have led to the decrease in the number of games: From 2011 to 2012, the number of machines in Arizona tribal casinos fell by 1.4 percent, and the number of table games fell nearly 5 percent.

Rick Medina, assistant director at Arizona Department of Gaming, said the 15 tribes that manage casinos in the state may have cut less-popular games to focus on those where players were risking more money.

“Every square foot of their establishment is … important to them,” Medina said. “Casinos don’t want to have games on the floor that people aren’t playing.”

Ellsworth said the number of people playing one machine or table game will affect revenue, since the number of wins per unit per day tends to drive up the amount of money players bet at that unit.

Casinos are also replacing some machines with “multidenomination machines” that let players change the amount of money they play, Ellsworth said.

“For example, a video poker machine could be played as a 5-cent machine, a quarter machine or a dollar machine,” he said. “The casino can offer multiple-denomination games with less machines on the floor.”

Alan Meister, an economist with Nathan Associates Inc. and author of the Casino City Press report, said casinos might also be able to increase revenue while cutting the number of games by offering more multiplayer than single-player games.

Medina said confidentiality agreements between the state and the casinos prohibit him from releasing details on exact reasons behind the higher revenue.

Whatever the reason, more money for the casinos means more money for the state. Medina said a casino pays the state 1 to 8 percent of its revenue, on a scale based on the facility’s revenue in a given year.

In 2012, tribal casinos contributed $84.9 million toward the state budget, according to the governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting.

Medina said the tribes plan to announce next week that this summer they expect to reach $1 billion in contributions to the state budget, stretching back to the approval of tribal casinos in 2003.

AIGA's Spicer Was Featured Speaker in London

Valerie Spicer, Executive Director Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA), was a featured panelist at ICE Totally Gaming seminar, “Opportunities in Indian Country” on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, in London, UK.  The seminar is co-produced by ICE Totally Gaming and Victor Rocha of PECHANGA.net in cooperation with Clarion Gaming’s Ewa Bakun.  Spicer is featured on the panel “Tribal Perspectives on internet gaming and overview of the tribal iGaming ventures.”

“I’m very fortunate that Valerie is able to join me at the ICE Totally Gaming conference in London as a panelist for the Opportunities in Indian Country:  Tribal Gaming Seminars,” said Victor Rocha.  “Val brings an extraordinary background in tribal gaming having worked in both the public and private sectors.  She not only has the respect of our industry, she was recently recognized as a Great Woman of Gaming, Proven Leader by Casino Enterprise Management.  I couldn’t ask for a better person to represent Indian Country in Europe.”

ICE Totally Gaming is the biggest gaming exhibition in the world. ICE 8 Conferences provide in-depth opportunities to learn through case studies, interactive discussions and focused networking about the most exciting areas in gaming. The seminars on Opportunities in Indian Country are free to participants at ICE Totally Gaming and designed to educate the European gaming industry about tribal gaming, the opportunities and impacts.

“The European market has conducted internet gaming for many years.  This program is a timely opportunity for us to engage with this market.  We anticipate an excellent exchange of information,” said Valerie Spicer, Executive Director AIGA. “Tribes will get qualified information on internet and social gaming and the potential business opportunities that can result, more importantly we can tell our story to the European market.  Personally I’m looking forward to explaining the difference between commercial and tribal gaming and how the economic impact from tribal gaming ripples through our communities and also positively affects our neighboring communities.”

The Arizona Indian Gaming Association has a membership of 17 tribes representing more than 90% of the Indian people living on reservations in Arizona. AIGA was established November 21, 1994 by Arizona tribal leaders.  The Association is committed to advancing the lives of Indian peoples – economically, socially and politically – so that Indian tribes in Arizona can achieve their goal of self-reliance.  Current membership includes:  Ak-Chin Indian Community, Cocopah Tribe, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Fort Mojave, Fort Yuma-Quechan Tribe, Gila River Indian Community, Havasupai  Tribe, Hualapai Tribe, Kaibab-Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe,  Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, San Carlos Apache Tribe, Tohono O’odham Nation,  White Mountain Apache Tribe, and the Zuni Tribe.

For more information about ICE, visit http://www.icetotallygaming.com/opportunities-indian-country or ICE Totally Gaming: http://www.icetotallygaming.com/.

Valerie Spicer

Valerie Spicer – 50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Business

Valerie Spicer – Executive director, Arizona Indian Gaming Association

Spicer brings 26 years of gaming experience to AIGA, which represents 19 Tribes. Most recently she was CEO of Gaming Strategies Group, where she promoted business development with tribal enterprises, governments and consulted tribal and individually owned businesses. Spicer has been named as a Great Woman of Gaming, a Proven Leader by Casino Enterprise Management magazine, and as one of the “Top 25 People To Watch” by Global Gaming Magazine.

Surprising fact: “I spent three years as an 18-wheel truck driver, cross-country hauling computers and fine art, including a Diego Rivera painting.”

Biggest challenge: “As single mom, my biggest challenge was balancing a strong commitment to my family and my career, which requires working twice as hard at both.”

Fifty Most Influential Women in Arizona Business – Every year in its July/August issue Arizona Business Magazine features 50 women who make an impact on Arizona business. To see the full list, read the digital issue >>