Americans back Indian gaming

Jul 25, 2006 4:45 AM

A recent poll by the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) shows that 65% of registered voters in America support Indian gaming. The poll, conducted by Fairbanks, Maslin, Maullin & Associates, was based on interviews with 1,000 registered voters nationwide.

Of those who participated in the poll, 84% support tribal efforts towards economic self-sufficiency, and specifically, gaming.

A significant number believe Indian gaming has had a positive impact on tribes. The poll found that 70% support the current regulatory system (tribal, state and federal).

Seventy-four percent of those surveyed believe preserving Indian culture is important. More than 22 million people visited Indian casinos in 2005.

"The American people continue to show strong support for Indian Gaming," noted Paul Maslin in a press release from NIGA. "They believe it helps the tribes become more self reliant and they strongly believe regulation should be handled between Tribal governments and the States — not the Federal government."

Settling land claims
prelude to casino

The Eastern Shawnee tribe of Oklahoma is inching its way forward in its efforts to reclaim ancestral land in Ohio. Last week, the tribe announced that it has settled three land claims and is working on a fourth, the first step towards a goal of establishing casino resorts in Monroe, Botkins, Canal Fulton, Lordstown and Lima, Ohio, the Tribune Chronicle reported.

The tribe had earlier dismissed the state of Ohio and state officials including Gov. Bob Taft from the federal case, saying they were no longer relevant.

”˜”˜This action will allow us to return to Ohio and begin to re-establish a presence in our tribe’s historic homeland,’’ Chief Charles Enyart told the paper.

While the settlements give ownership of the land to the Eastern Shawnee, the tribe now has a laborious "to-do" list before realizing their casino dreams. What’s next? Getting the land put into federal trust status, and convincing the next elected state officials to support the tribe’s efforts to bring Indian gaming to Ohio.

NIGA releases
annual Economic
Impact Report

The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) released its 2005 Economic Impact of Indian Gaming report. The success story continues. In 2005, Indian gaming generated $22.6 billion in gross revenue; 600,000 new jobs were created; $2.1 billion went to state governments through revenue sharing and taxes and $7.6 billion was generated in federal revenue (taxes) and revenue savings (reduced welfare and unemployment taxes). Tribes spent a total of $323 million for gaming regulation at the tribal, state and federal levels.