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On Free Play and Tribal Gaming Taxes

Ashok K. Singh

Abstract


There are a total of 243 Native Indian tribes which collectively have 512 tribal casinos. A majority of tribal casinos offer loyalty cards and free play, and many tribal casinos spend millions of dollars per year on this form of marketing. Tribal operators argue that the full face value of all free-play offers should be considered a marketing expense, but taxing authorities in many states are not in agreement, and argue that some percentage or all of Free Play should not be considered an expense item by the casinos. In this article, we provide a very brief history of tribal gaming, explain how Free Play affects house advantages and other performance indicators of casino slot floors, include a discussion on the structure of state taxation in the U.S., and also show how tribal casinos in different states stack up in terms of gross gaming revenue and taxes.

 


Keywords


Time on Device, House Advantage, Slot Club Membership, Principal Components Regression

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5750/jgbe.v12i2.1693

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