September 04, 2007

Indian casinos reduce poverty

UCR study finds families better off near casinosThe UC Riverside analysis of 1990 and 2000 census data found income levels for families living within 10 miles of reservations with Indian casinos rose 55 percent in that decade. The median income for families not living within 10 miles of a gambling reservation rose 33 percent during that period.

"This study has shown that tribal gaming in California has improved social and economic outcomes on tribal lands and in surrounding areas," researchers wrote in the report. "Benefits include significant increases in incomes and educational attainment and reductions in poverty, especially in the poorest regions of the state."
Indian Casinos Boost Local Economies

UCR researchers report reduced poverty and higher incomes on and near gaming reservations.The authors’ analysis of U.S. Census data reveal that the benefits have been significant. California’s gaming tribes experienced a 55 percent increase in average income per capita between 1990 and 2000, compared to a 15 percent increase on nongaming reservations. The average income per capita on California’s gaming reservations was $12,526 in 2000, only 53 percent of the average income for all Americans, the researchers found.

The number of families living in poverty on the state’s gaming reservations dropped from 36 percent in 1990 to 26 percent in 2000, the researchers found. Even so, poverty rates were more than twice as high as the state and national averages.

“This study is important because it is the first to present the impacts of gaming on economic development for every tribe in California and their surrounding communities,” Marks said. “These findings show that it is a myth to think that all tribal members have become millionaires or that casinos are a drain on their surrounding communities. Incomes on reservations are still well below the national average. Still, the improvements in poverty rates and incomes on reservations with casinos are impressive.”

6 comments:

russell said...

Writrfella here --
This sounds fine, but in many states, tribal gaming officials have had to be forced by Federal courts to make the per capita distributions to their various peoples that were agreed upon when the people voted to authorize casinoes. In Oklahoma, the Cheyenne-Arapaho, the Comanche, and the Chickasaw tribes made such distributions ONLY after being ordered to do so by Federal court edicts. To this time, the Kiowa Gaming committee has been silent about the per capita distribution agreed upon by the Kiowa electorate when the Kiowa casino was voted upon. Will it happen, or will the Kiowa people also have to go to court? Don't miss Chapter Thirteen of THE CLUTCHING HAND, at this theater next week!
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Sounds like a misstatement of gaming law to me. Per IGRA, a tribe can give its members per-capita payments after it takes care of necessary government functions (education, healthcare, law enforcement, etc.) Whether to permit these payments or not is something for a duly elected tribal government to decide.

Tribal members can't vote themselves per-capita payments unless, perhaps, a tribal government authorizes a referendum on such payments. If a tribal government refused to obey the outcome of such a referendum, then, perhaps, the feds could intervene.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
No one said that tribal members voted themselves ANYTHING! The packages with which they were presented by tribal business committees CONTAINED such codicils as an inducement for the agreements to voted upon and approved. Where in this world do any members of the voting public CHANGE the ballots with which they are presented, save for those areas that allow write-in votes for candidates that already are not on the ballot?
Most especially in recent news here in Oklahoma is when Wallace Coffey, the Chairman of the Comanche tribe, tried his damndest to circumvent or at least to delay the called-for per capita distribution, claiming that there were tribal projects not yet approved that needed the funding support for their success. He lost, big time.
Among the Cheyenne-Arapaho, the business committee more or less set themselves up as 'Arab-type' warlords who used casino profits as their power over the Cheyenne people. In other words, they administered the profits by dint of patronage, with their relatives and friends benefitting and those who displeased them getting nothing. It is important to note that the bulk of them now are in Federal prison for their defiance of the very casino regulations that they themselves wrote and then promoted.
You would not believe what is going on with the Chickasaws! And the Kiowas are next!
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

You said that some tribes voted for casinos with the understanding that getting per-capita payments was part of the deal. I'm saying that's usually not how it works.

Something like 75% of gaming tribes don't give out per-capita payments at all. So intervention by federal courts is not happening in many tribes or "many states."

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Okay, let's see. Oregon. Minnesota. Florida. New Mexico. Colorado. Kansas. Arizona. Oklahoma.
How MANY makes a MANY in your world, Rob? Geez, only that many out of 50, sort of 'eight pluribus unum...'
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Federal courts are intervening over per-capita payments in eight states? I doubt it. Unfortunately, this claim is worthless unless you cite and quote a source for it.