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Gaming Industry Booming In Oklahoma

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Business is booming for one of the biggest industries in Oklahoma.

The latest numbers show the gaming industry has made the state $1.3 billion in the past decade.

The Cox Convention Center transformed into a casino Tuesday, displaying some of the latest technology, including a massive slot machine.

Cutting-edge technology is one of the reasons gaming is a gold-mine in Oklahoma.

Although no one is winning real money at the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association conference, people are excited to be at the Cox Business Center, getting a glimpse of the latest gaming technology.

"Oklahoma does it better than almost anywhere in the country in terms of keeping their floors fresh," said AGS Vice President of slot products Andrew Burke.

Oklahoma is even better at it than Las Vegas, according to Burke.

"Casinos here are not scared to invest in their gaming and floors and that's very important for the long-term viability of the business," explained Burke.

Burke says the key is staying up to speed with technology. From the monitors to the buttons and the sounds, it's all about drawing people in.

"When you are sitting at the game and you’re playing it, it really projects the entire experience which in a noisy casino is very meaningful,” he stated.

There are nearly 130 casinos in the state. The latest numbers show 40 million people visited Oklahoma casinos last year.

In the last decade, tribal casinos paid more than $1.3 billion in exclusivity fees to the state.

"It's amazing the impact rural casinos are having on employment, on payroll, on tourism exportation, meaning they are bringing people from out of state," said Co-founder and Principal of KlasRobinson Q.E.D. Matthew Robinson.

The full economic impact study for this region won't be available until the fall, but as you can tell, the initial findings are already looking very good. 

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