Tribal communities look to expand brand

Arizona's 22 tribal owned casinos brought in more than $1.8 billion in 2012, and like any good business, the tribes that are doing well are looking around to see if they can expand their brand.

- Arizona's 22 tribal owned casinos brought in more than $1.8 billion in 2012, and like any good business, the tribes that are doing well are looking around to see if they can expand their brand.

Jobing.com Arena is now Gila River Arena. Firebird Raceway has been renamed to Wildhorse Pass Raceway. Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ak Chin Pavilion, the list goes on as local tribes develop, buy into, or pay big bucks to have their names on sporting and entertainment venues across the valley.

"When you have so many casinos in an urban area, you are going to get this type of market grab, and that is what it is," said Victor Rocha.

Now US Airways Center, home to the Suns, Rattlers, and Mercury officially becomes Talking Stick Resort Arena, in a multi-year, multi-million dollar naming deal for the Salt River Pima Indian community.

Victor Rocha is a tribal gaming expert, he says with seven casinos in the valley, the pie is being sliced thinner.

"I think the core is the Arizona-Phoenix market is starting to get saturated. You have Glendale opening up, and it's under construction and stuff, so I think it's even more incumbent for tribes to get their names out there, especially with something as high profile as a stadium," said Rocha.

Rocha says the tribes are also diversifying as they see gaming trends change.

"The younger people are not gambling, they want to go to nightclubs and socialize, they want to do selfies, they don't want to sit at slot machines," said Rocha.
 


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