Department of Gaming shows first gain in four years

Phoenix, AZ – New figures from the Department of Gaming show that tribes took in nearly $1.7 billion last year after paying out winnings. While that is up less than 1 percent from the prior year, state gaming director Mark Brnovich noted it's the first uptick in four years.

(We know that we've seen gaming revenues increase when the economy's good. And when the economy starts to slow down, people are spending less of their discretionary income. It's natural to see those numbers go down.)

Brnovich said having tribal gaming returning to 2008 levels is linked to how fast the economy can grow again.

(And that's obviously dependent on a lot of factors that are outside all of our control, including what happens in Europe, what happens with the debt situation, what happens with tax and spend policies on a federal level.)

The issue affects more than the tribes. The 2002 ballot measure which gave them exclusive right to operate casinos requires them to share some of the profits with the state. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.