By Joseph Spector
Albany Bureau Chief
ALBANY, NY While New York seeks to expand casinos, the existing Indian casinos had the biggest revenue drop in the nation in 2011, a report today found.
Gaming revenue growth at New York's eight Indian casinos fell nearly 3 percent between 2010 and 2011, the report from Casino City's Indian Gaming Industry Report found. That was the biggest drop off in the nation, according to the report from the Newtown, Mass-group.
Gaming revenue at Indian gaming facilities in New York decreased from $946 million to $921 million between 2010 and 2011, a 2.6 percent decline. The number of slot machines at the casinos fell nearly 2 percent, from 12,157 to 11,934, while the number of table games increased by nearly 5 percent, from 296 to 310.
Nationally, gaming revenue at Indian casinos grew about 3 percent to $27 billion, with California have the largest share because of its 68 Indian casinos.
The report said it's the third consecutive year that Indian casinos in New York had a drop in revenue as competition increased between the tribes and the nine racetracks in New York with video-lottery terminals.
The largest Indian casinos in New York are the three run by the Senecas in western New York and the Turning Stone Casino run by the Oneidas in central New York.
"Both New York and Connecticut experienced declines in gaming revenue," the report said. "This is largely due to increased competition in this region across the Indian gaming, commercial casino, and racino segments."
The revenue at the racetracks continue to grow. Revenue at the racinos grew by 16 percent between 2010 and 2011, to nearly $1.3 billion, the report said. Because of the growth in the racinos, particularly the largest facility in Queens, lottery revenue reached a record $9 billion in 2012, Gannett's Albany Bureau reported last month.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed to legalize up to seven privately owned casinos in New York, with the first three to be built in upstate. The racinos want the rights to expand to add table games.