Indian casinos wary of adding sportsbooks

According to the Associated Press, Indian tribes with casinos were enthusiastic last May when the U.S. Supreme Court opened the door to betting on sports. They have since recognized the low margins and regulatory challenges that come with it.

In many places, state approval would be needed to add sports betting. In California, they would need approval from voters to change the state’s constitution.

Running a sports betting operation requires highly skilled workers and has a lower profit margin than many other casino options. In 2017 sportsbooks made up just 2.4 percent of gambling revenue in Nevada casinos.

The AP quoted one tribal councilman, Kenny Weston, as saying a sports book might attract new patrons. They might come for a big sporting event, then stay at the hotel and play other games while they are there. “Normally, with the brick-and-mortar casino like we have, we attract a lot of older crowds and retired people. I think with sports betting we can bring a different age demographic and different people … and have the opportunity to do the same that they do in Vegas.”