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Oklahoma Indian casinos impacting Shreveport-Bossier - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Oklahoma Indian casinos impacting Shreveport-Bossier

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Tomorrow, we'll learn just how much money area riverboats took in last month.  The state Gaming Control board is scheduled to meet in Baton Rouge. That's where the revenue figures will be released.  But already 2013 is off to a bad start for the riverboats in the Shreveport-Bossier market.  In January, area casinos took in $48 million.  That's down more than $317,000 from January 2012.  February saw a huge drop, more than $7 million from the year before.  And in March, a $246,000 drop.  While the economy is playing a role, the odds are now in favor of Oklahoma.  Indiana casinos are luring gamblers who once drove straight for Shreveport-Bossier.  They are the high rollers from the Dallas - Fort Worth Metroplex.  Indian casinos now dot the Oklahoma - Texas border.  Caesars Entertainment President Gary Loveman says the proximity to Dallas makes it more convenient for gamblers.  Some of the biggest casinos in Oklahoma are just 70 miles from DFW.  Wade Duty, the Executive Director of the Louisiana Casino Association says since the introduction of native american gaming in 2005, Louisiana has seen a 25% reduction in tax revenues that are coming out of that market.  We've seen a 33% reduction in the number of visitors comings to Shreveport-Bossier.  That 25% loss equals around $33 million a year.  Sheila Morago, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association says there are currently 39 federally recognized tribes in Oklahoma.  Of the 39, 33 have some type of gaming.  There are 116 casinos in the Sooner State and that number is growing.  So are the casinos.  The Winstar Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma is expanding.  The casino says it's already the third largest int he world.  Now, a new hotel tower is going up, adding 500 guest rooms.  This is on top of a 54,000 square foot expansion of its gambling hall. Even Sting, the former lead singer of The Police, kicked off the summer leg of his world tour in Thackerville. 

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