More on the Recession's Effects on Local Tribal Casinos
We said in an earlier blog post that "local" tribal casinos may take a smaller hit than large casino resorts in the current economic climate. And while it appears that spending is down less for local casinos than for tourist-destination casinos, tribes are still worried.
As we've explained in detail in our book, "Indian Gaming and Tribal Sovereignty: The Casino Compromise," tribal gaming operations, just like tribes, vary in size and economic vitality. Typically, a "local" tribal casino in the midwest is operated by a tribe with thousands, rather than dozens, of tribal members, many of whom face socioeconomic adversity -- high unemployment rates and high levels of poverty. Even modest casino revenues allow the tribal government to create jobs, provide much-needed services, and improve the quality of life for reservation residents.
A downturn in casino spending can have serious effects on communities already struggling with unemployment and poverty. While many of us are dismayed with national unemployment rates that may approach double digits, tribes in the midwest have been working to reduce reservation unemployment to below 50%.
And that's why we've suggested that non-tribal local governments and states should care about what happens to Indian gaming in this economic climate. For many tribes, gaming isn't about profits or per capita payments -- it's about jobs, for Indians and non-Indians alike, and reducing the effects of severe poverty.
Read more about local casinos in Minnesota in the Duluth News Tribune at "Local casinos feeling recession's squeeze."
Labels: Revenue; Recession; Minnesota