Reader Letter: Gaming revenue questioned

The September 27, 2008, Tulsa World article entitled "Tribes hail bingo rules’ demise" contains a large error in the dollar amount attributed to the Indian gaming industry in Oklahoma. 

The article quotes the base amount of the class III gaming machines as the entire amount of Indian gaming in Oklahoma (2.4 billion per year).  Class III gaming machines make up approximately half of the number of gaming machines in Oklahoma.  The article states that Class III gaming proceeds are under compact with the state, that between 4 and 6 percent of the proceeds is given to the state, and that the 2007 amount given to the state was $71.6 million dollars.

Do the math.  If the 2007 amount of $71.6 million dollars represents 6 percent of the base amount generated by Class III gaming machines in Oklahoma, the base amount yielded is very close to $2.4 billion.  This number does NOT include the proceeds generated from Class II machines not under compact. 

The article states that the 52,000 gaming machines in Oklahoma are almost evenly split between Class II and Class III gaming machines.  A conservative estimate of 26,000 Class II gaming machines in operation 20 days per month, with an estimated net of $300 per operating day, yields a number close to $1.9 BILLION dollars more.

Does anyone know how much money is actually generated by Indian gaming in Oklahoma? 

To read the Tulsa World story click here 

"Oklahoma tribal casinos are hailing a decision by the National Indian Gaming Commission to formally withdraw a plan to redefine Class II gambling machines.

Some tribal officials said the proposed regulations would have crippled the state’s $2.4 billion-a-year industry."