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Report: Land-Based Gambling in California Declines for First Time Ever

April 15, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – As the movement in California to legalize and regulate online poker keeps chugging along, some interesting news is coming out of the story as a side effect.

In a conference recently held in San Diego County — the county with the most Indian casinos in the United States — the National Indian Gaming Association gathered to discuss the Internet gambling issue, among other topics. And, during the course of the event, it was revealed that, for the first time ever, the Indian-operated casinos in California took in less money than the year before.

“The [National Indian Gaming Association] estimates that the nation’s 442 Indian gambling halls took in $26.2 billion from gamblers last year, $500 million less than in 2008,” writes Onell R. Soto at the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It was the first time that Indian casinos took in less money than the year before.”

“California tribal casinos generally don’t reveal revenue figures,” Soto adds, underlining the importance of this news.

Combined with the fact that Las Vegas-area gambling revenues are also suffering, it seems that the land-based casino industry is finally waking up to the fact that their future is on the Internet. That trend is only emphasized when so many former opponents to online gambling, like the National Indian Gaming Association and the American Gaming Association, are now embracing it as the means to move forward.

“The elephant in the room is Internet poker and Internet gaming,” Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga band near Temecula, said in the article.