Slumping economy hits Indian casino industry |

Slumping economy hits Indian casino industry

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The economic downturn is slowing the growth of the Indian gaming industry.

A report released Thursday by economist Alan Meister shows revenues for the industry in 2008 increased by the lowest rate in recorded history – from $26.4 billion to $26.8 billion. That’s a rise of just 1.5 percent.

Still, the industry fared better than the commercial casino sector, which saw revenue drop.

Experts say Indian casinos have the advantage of being spread out across the nation. That makes them more attractive in a downturn, as gamblers look to stay close to home instead of flying to Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Meister’s report says California continued to lead the nation in Indian gaming revenue at $7.3 billion, although that number fell from 2007.

Oklahoma overtook Connecticut as the second-largest Indian gaming state.

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