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Trade Group: Oklahoma Has Second-Largest Share of $30B Tribal Gaming Industry

KWGS File photo

Oklahoma claims a large share of the $30 billion U.S. tribal gaming industry.

An analysis commissioned by the American Gaming Association finds Indian casinos in the state accounted for $8.7 billion in sales and 66,000 jobs.

"And that's not to mention the nearly $2.2 billion in tax revenue and the $3.6 billion in employee wages that go to those 66,000 employees across the state," said AGA's Steve Doty.

The AGA presented its findings in Oklahoma City this week to a panel including tribal leaders and congressmen Tom Cole and Markwayne Mullin. Doty said they’re trying to get the word out about tribal gaming’s positive impact on communities, part of AGA's broader "Get to Know Gaming" campaign.

"People know that it's there. They know where the properties are. They know that it's a large portion of the economy, but they don't know quite how much and just how many people are employed by the tribal gaming community," Doty said.

California’s tribal gaming industry is about twice as large as Oklahoma’s. The AGA study has different findings than the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association’s annual report, but it uses a different methodology.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.