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Tribal Gaming Money For Arizona Coffers Fell In 3 Of 4 Quarters

The amount of gaming money tribes give the state of Arizona has fallen in three of the last four quarters compared to the year before.

The small decrease in gaming contributions reported last June was the first in years. But tribal casinos closed due to the coronavirus and gaming money given to Arizona fell by more than half. Tribal contributions then grew for a quarter. But fell again by 4 percent in the most recent. 

“I think it’s hard to nail down an exact reason why we saw this small decrease this quarter. But I think the pandemic had a huge part in it,” said Max Hartgraves, public information officer for the state Gaming Department.

The state gaming compact requires tribes to donate a certain percentage of casino revenue to the state. The money gets divided into buckets like education, emergency services and tourism.

A new gaming deal between Gov. Doug Ducey and native tribes has been reached but not revealed.

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.