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Arizona casino numbers dip

2 May 2008

ARIZONA -- As reported by the East Valley Tribune:"It could be gasoline prices. Or maybe worries about continued employment.

"But something is causing Arizonans to drop a little bit less at tribal casinos.

"New figures Wednesday from the Arizona Department of Gaming show that the revenue the tribes share with the state from their casinos was about $24.4 million for the first three months of 2008. That is down about 0.8 percent from the same period a year earlier.

"That is the first time this has happened since the state began keeping these records in 2003. While there was tribal gambling for a decade before that, there was no sharing of revenue with the state — and therefore no public record.

"Figures on how much actually passes through slot machines and gambling tables on tribal reservations is secret.

"But the revenue sharing, based on a formula set in statute, is the best indicator of how much money the tribes are taking in.

"Sheila Morago, executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association, said she believes the downturn is directly related to the economy..."

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