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Wisconsin Indian casino revenues fall 5%

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsinites are either gambling less – or they’re having better luck.

An Indian gaming analyst said the state’s 11 tribes collected about 5 percent less in casino revenues in the four years ending in 2011.

But the revenue losses began to tail off in the final year of the review.

The state’s total decline was just 0.9 percent from the previous year – while nationally, Indian casinos took in 3 percent more.

Analyst Alan Meister says 21 of the 28 states that have Indian gaming increased their revenues in 2011 – and Wisconsin was not among them.

However, total casino profits are still on the rise.

The state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau said the 2011 profits from Wisconsin gaming houses rose by $23 million over a two-year period, to $567 million.

The state’s been a winner as well, as its share of tribal profits jumped by 2.5 percent since the middle of 2010. Meister says the profits are due to cost cutting by the casinos.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s casino industry still has the prospect of expanding.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs continues to consider approving a pair of off-reservation casinos planned for Kenosha and Beloit.

If Washington approves them, Governor Scott Walker would then have the final say. Walker has not said what he might do if the proposals get to his desk.

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