Indian Gaming Today

Thursday, January 08, 2009

More on Indian gaming and the Economy

Kathryn's quoted in this article about the recession's impacts on tribal gaming in Mississippi, where the Mississippi Band of Choctaw announced that its Pearl River Resort would lay off 570 workers and its Golden Moon Hotel and Casino would operate only on weekends.

While gross revenues for Indian gaming operations across the U.S. in the aggregate have stayed relatively flat in the last year, the economic downturn is now hitting specific areas with greater force. Here, it is likely that the local economy couldn’t sustain the Golden Moon and the Silver Star, with the former cannibalizing the latter’s profits.

Some unsolicited advice: tribes would do well to consider as many creative ways as possible to keep casino employees on the payroll, for instance through flextime, reduced benefits, or even temporary layoffs. Not just the reality, but the image of layoffs is going to provide some serious negative PR in the regions in which these layoffs occur (just take a look at some of the reader reactions to the Clarion-Ledger story). And we all know that preserving or enhancing the positive image of tribal casinos constitutes vital political capital for tribes.

Read more in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger at
570 Jobs Gone at Choctaw Resort

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