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Arizona Win Big on Slots

8 July 2004

ARIZONA – As reported by the Arizona Republic: "More slot machines meant a higher payoff last year for Arizona Indian tribes, which took in an estimated $151 million more in gambling revenue than in 2002, according to an independent analysis being released today.

"Casino tribes' estimated $1.2 billion in revenues ranked Arizona fourth among 30 states with Indian casinos, according to the third annual Indian Gaming Industry Report by Alan Meister, manager at the Analysis Group Inc. in Los Angeles. California, Connecticut and Minnesota took the top three spots.

"…Arizona's increase came primarily from a 27.9 percent increase in slot machines, the cash cow of any casino. Arizona tribes began increasing their slots and started offering house-banked blackjack in February 2003, when voter-approved Proposition 202 took effect. The measure permitted the increased gambling in return for cutting the state in on the action.

"Sheila Morago, executive director of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association, thinks Meister's estimates for Arizona are too high. But there's no denying that gambling revenues are helping tribes attack social and economic woes, she said.

"…In return for their expanded gambling franchise, Arizona tribes now give money to the state and local governments. Through June, those contributions totaled $42.9 million, third most among the states, according to Meister's report…"

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