At its core the Tribal Survey is a very timely opportunity for the rest of the world to understand the importance of tribal gaming and the role it plays in the US. Around half of US gaming revenue comes from Native American properties, but it’s still one of the industry’s biggest secrets.
Equally, for tribal members, I see this as an opportunity to understand the changes that the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has initiated in the industry. We are emerging from a global pandemic, and there have been a lot of changes in the gaming industry.
Sports betting has really caught fire, and anything mobile risen in prominence, after the pandemic sped up adoption of new technology. This extends into brick-and-mortar properties; cashless, touchless and digital currency are going to be big deals going forward.
Therefore the survey will not only highlight changes in the way players consume and engage with tribal venues, but also the products they use do so.
Recovery from the Covid-19 shut-down will be at the forefront of most tribal operators’ minds – the sector is the most consistent source of jobs and funding for tribes across the US. And while properties are seeing visitors come back, and a broad desire among the public to get back to normal, having an understanding of the products that attract existing customers back – and bring in new players – is crucial.
I’m very interested to see what comes out of the findings. We’ve always seen slot machines as the big revenue generators, but when casinos across the US closed their doors, operators in states such as New Jersey had a digital option, so still had the ability to make money.
As Covid-19 is still a clear and present threat, it’s very important that we stay on top of these developments. That sort of digital diversification could help offset the impact of another shutdown.
Of course, this sort of data and research is very valuable in understanding how the industry is viewed, as we approach the National Indian Gaming Association’s (NIGA) Indian Gaming & Tradeshow Convention in July.
In conclusion, it’s important that everyone’s voice is heard. The Tribal Survey is an opportunity to educate us, both at Pechanga.net and our partners in the venture Clarion Gaming, to let us know what you’re thinking.
Clarion is a global business that reaches around the world, so Native American operators will have the chance to speak on the world stage – something that we arguably haven’t been afforded enough opportunities to do.
It’s through engaging in this project that you can help us reach into Indian Country to gather honest answers to complex questions.
The Tribal Survey is now live – we would like to invite all Native American gaming executives and tribal members to participate.