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Tribal Casinos Add to Dominance of U.S. Gaming Machines

American Indian casinos increased their dominance of all U.S. gaming machines and in particular the video gaming machine market in 2012, a just-released gaming almanac shows.

U.S. tribal casinos had 76,937 video gaming machines at the end of 2012, according to Casino City's 2014 Global Gaming Almanac, which was 66.2%, or nearly two in three, in this category. 2012 is the latest year Indian gaming numbers are available for.

That's an increase in both number and share from 2011, when Native casinos had 72,298, or 65.2% of video gaming machines.

The 2012 share was more than twice as great as the number two in this category, gaming machine outlets, which had 26.8% of these machines.

Tribal casinos also led in all gaming machines, though not by as much, according to the almanac. Their 352,274 gaming machines were 39.2% of the market. Commercial casinos, with 30.1%, were the runners up.

Total gaming machines were up from 2011, when tribal casinos had 343,574 or 38.7% of the market.

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Tribes narrowly won the slots category, with 275,024 at the end of 2012, which comes to 39.2% of the market. Commercial casinos were right behind them, at 38.5%.

The Newton, Mass.-based publisher, which offers two other gaming almanacs a year, one of which focuses solely on Indian gaming, showed tribal casinos in 492 locations at the end of 2012, making up just 3.6% of the number of gaming locations in the country. That's up by 16 in a year, from 476 at the end of 2011.

Indian casinos led one of the table game categories, poker, with 1,793 at the end of 2012, or 26.7%. They very narrowly bested commercial casinos, which had 26.1%, and card rooms, with 20.2%. Commercial casinos led in the categories of table games including poker, and table games excluding poker.

Tribal casinos had much less 2012 market share in Canada, where Indian gaming is allowed in the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Tribes had 65 gaming locations, or 1.1% of the market. They had 5,696 total gaming machines, or 5.9% share. In slots, they had 4,882, good for 8%. Tribal casinos had 814, or 2.3%, of the country's video lottery terminals. Their best showing in the table games category was for poker, with 60 tables, or 10.9% of the Canadian market.

The locations and gaming table numbers showed a decline year over year for Canadian Indian casinos. For 2011, tribes had a slightly larger concentration of locations, at 1.2%. They also had 6.2% of all gaming tables, a small increase over 2012. Their shares for slots and poker games stayed about the same, according to the almanac.