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Why changes in Arizona’s gaming laws compelled one Valley casino to connect with Asian gamblers

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Posted at 8:42 AM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 11:42:47-04

PHOENIX — Leaders at Gila River Resorts & Casinos figure they have played their cards right with the state’s new gaming laws and have significantly increased revenue and player count as a result.

In the spring of 2021, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and the leaders of 20 of the state’s Native American tribes signed a new gaming compact that modernized gaming laws and increased the types of gambling allowed in the state. The most publicized piece of the new gaming compact was the legalization of sports and event wagering. But for the tribes to allow that type of gaming outside of tribal land, they asked for more Las Vegas-style card and table games be added to the agreement.

On Aug. 6 of that year, Gila River Resort & Casinos, which has three casinos on the southern end of the Valley and one more being built, launched its new roulette, baccarat and craps table games. In less than a year, the enterprise arm of the Gila River Indian Community has doubled table game revenue and grown casino foot traffic by 50%.

“The revenue we are generating for the [Gila River Indian] community is insane,” Aaron Bayne, Gila River’s director of casino games, told the Business Journal. “What our biggest numbers used to be is a boring Tuesday now.”

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.