Casino and casino operators are taking a hit as gambling continues to decline in the state.
Key points:Alaska has been a popular destination for gamblersThe industry in Alaska is now smaller than in other statesThe Alaska Gaming Commission estimates the number of gamblers will drop from 1.5 million to about 1.3 million within the next two yearsThe ABC understands there are now fewer than 600 licensed gamblers in the country, down from nearly 700 in 2012.
A lot of these are people who haven’t been to the gambling circuit in Alaska for a while, and who are just starting out.
There’s no question it’s an issue, but the real issue is, how much are they going to pay to play?
“The industry is now about one-third smaller than it was two years ago, with about 800 licensed operators, according to the Alaska Gaming Authority.
The industry has been growing steadily in the past decade, with the number growing from just under 700 operators in 2010 to over 2,000 in 2015.
But the number in the industry has dropped by a third over the last two years, with only 300 operators remaining, according the authority.
Alaska’s gambling industry is thriving despite the fact that gambling is not permitted.
Alaskans were still able to gamble last year with the state’s highest state tax rate, the lowest casino gambling tax rate in the nation, and a small number of casinos with no gambling permits.
And the casino industry is expanding rapidly in the wake of the state legislature legalizing casino gambling last month.
But Alaska’s gambling revenue has been cut in half by $500 million since last year.
That means, in effect, there’s no money coming in for gambling operators, despite the state providing an incentive to expand gambling in the first place.”
It’s a big loss, it’s a massive loss,” Alaskan poker dealer Gary Smith said.”
You’re talking about the people that were in the gambling business for a long time, people that are part of the industry for decades.
“It’s the people who have a long history of doing business with us that are impacted by this.”
The state gaming authority estimated the number to be 1.6 million, down about 50,000 from 1,813 in the year before.
The authority also found that the number could drop to 1.2 million by 2020.
It’s not just the loss of revenue, the authority said the state will have to deal with the issue of tax evasion, which is a problem that is costing the state money.
“The gaming industry is struggling with the fact it’s getting less money for the money that they put into it, and that’s a problem, because the tax base is shrinking, and it’s going to continue to shrink,” said the authority’s director of state and local finance, Mike Stahl.
“We have to be mindful of that as we move forward.”
A lot depends on how much the gaming industry can earn in the next few years.
Alcasa is in the process of issuing a licence application to run poker machines in the community, which could potentially generate millions in revenue.
But state and federal tax experts said it’s difficult to know how much revenue would come in.
“That’s the biggest concern right now, it is not something we know,” said casino consultant John DeStefano.
“In Alaska, we don’t have a lot of gambling revenue, and the state is trying to get rid of that revenue.”
What we can say is that we’re going to be watching it very closely.