Since little has been written about the impact Arizona casinos have been having on the gaming industry, it was surprising to some gaming observers that in the last fiscal year, the Native American casinos in Arizona have placed the area behind only Connecticut and California in revenue ranking.
The annual report of the Arizona Department of Gaming noted that the 22 Indian casinos generated $1.5 billion in gaming profits with the state receiving $65.3 million as its share of the revenue.
An Arizona law in 2002 permitted the tribes to operate casinos provided they shared their revenue with the state. Such revenue sharing works off a sliding formula that increases from 1% to 8% when specific dollar amounts are reached. The casinos also pay about 12% of the revenues to the cities and towns of their choice.
Arizona officials said the casino revenue goes to school districts, emergency services, tourism and programs for problem gamblers.