Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer and Vice Chair Jeannie Hovland of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) have announced the fiscal year 2020 (FY2020) gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the Indian gaming industry. FY 2020 revenues totaled $27.8B, a decrease of 19.5% over FY 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the FY 2020 GGR results. Unlike previous years, the NIGC administrative regions experienced a FY 2020 decline of more than 13% in GGR. The Rapid City Region experienced the largest decrease of 36.6%.
“This Gross Gaming Revenue decrease was expected; the unknown was just how much of an impact COVID-19 had on Indian gaming. Every year, the annual GGR figure tells a story about Indian gaming’s successes, contributions to Indian communities, and economic impacts. This was highlighted even more during the pandemic. Nevertheless, tribes were on the forefront of creating standards, developing new safety protocols, and sharing community resources. I foresee this decrease as only a temporary setback for Indian gaming,” Chairman Simermeyer said.
The GGR figure is an aggregate of revenue from 524 independently audited financial statements of 248 federally recognized Tribes across 29 States. The GGR for an operation is based on the amount wagered minus winnings returned to players.
“Despite the limits and uncertainty of the last year, it is important to focus on the sacrifices of and economic refuge provided by tribes and the community impacts. Tribal gaming has shown resilience and commitment, and continues to develop new roads to economic stability. I look forward to seeing Indian gaming continue to lead the way in efforts to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Vice Chair Hovland said.