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Private Casino

dms

Messages
14
Points
1
In Maine, they are having a wide discussion concerning the allowing of a $ 650 million casino (Casino resort, including a 650 unit hotel, 11 restaurants and conference facility) to be developed in a small city. The land would be bought by a local Indian tribe and they would sponsor a private developer to construct and operate a casino under their tribal organization.

This is raising a number of issues, and is being brought to the point of a state wide election in November.

Some are just seeing adverse development impacts. At this stage, there really has not been any open public planning comments. There has been discussion of the moral implications, and the impacts on traffic on local roads, etc.

Any comments ?
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Moral issues : BAD - people gamble and lose money they shouldn't. It's like the lottery.

Traffic issues : BAD - they do cause a lot of traffic if they are successful.

Spillover development : GOOD and BAD - if it works, others will build hotels, restaurants, conference centers, golf courses, water parks, and just about averything else. If you want to see a town overwhelmed by this sort of development, visit Wisconsin Dells. They have to import workers from Eaastern Europe. The jobs are low-paying. Housing is a problem. On the other hand, the town has a huge property tax base, and I believe even collects some sales tax (an exception to Wisconsin law).

Tribal impact : GOOD - Native Americans got screwed. Now, gambling is giving them a chance to make profits. Some of the tribes have done very well, and have reinvested their earnings in ventures on and off their reservations.
 

Rem

Cyburbian
Messages
1,523
Points
23
Cardinal said:
Tribal impact : GOOD - Native Americans got screwed. Now, gambling is giving them a chance to make profits. Some of the tribes have done very well, and have reinvested their earnings in ventures on and off their reservations.
Cardinal are you aware of any situations where tribal groups have been ripped off through this process or have lost out due to mismanagement? We have a local example of an Aboriginal Land Council who obtained title to a large tract of high quality land (1,500 hectares/3,706 acres) through a land claim. It now seems likley they will lose control of at least part, maybe all their land due to a silly mortgage arrangement they entered into with some sharks developers.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Rem said:
Cardinal are you aware of any situations where tribal groups have been ripped off through this process or have lost out due to mismanagement? We have a local example of an Aboriginal Land Council who obtained title to a large tract of high quality land (1,500 hectares/3,706 acres) through a land claim. It now seems likley they will lose control of at least part, maybe all their land due to a silly mortgage arrangement they entered into with some sharks developers.

I don't remember the specifics, but there are allegations (with substantial proof) that one of the tribes in Oklahoma has been ripped off with regard to their oil reserves. But actually, it seems that there are pervasive problems with management of Native American resources by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

Cyburbian
Messages
216
Points
9
over the weekend I read an article about the increase of private clubs catering to those whom smoke as a backlash to the anti-smoking movement...
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
California passed a similar measure in 2000. There are now more than 50 casinos in California and more than a hundred in the planning stages. In three years, tribal gaming interest have become the largest poitical contributors in the state. They have spent large amounts to influence local and statewide politics. When they become involved, they out finance all other contributors.

I have heard that tribal casinos do not have to follow building codes, do not have to follow local laws, do not pay minimum wage or social security, and that they do not have liability if someone is injured.

A lot of people in California thought that the casinos would be placed on Indian reservations. However, they can be located virtually anywhere. So far, the state has not approved any urban casinos, but I am sure that will happen soon.

Some tribes have been cooperative with the local governments, but that is a minority of cases. Those who do try to cooperate are often opposed by the balance of the casino interests who don't want to set a precedent for losing their exemption from laws and standards.

We have had a proposal for a casino by local Indians. They have been very willing to cooperate with the City, which, from my understanding, is not what is happening in other parts of the State. That proposal is now on hold, so I don't have anything else to report.

My advice is to look very carefully at California. In less than three years, gambling has become a preeminent political force in the state, and gambling is, at this point, exempt from most law. I don't think that's what the citizens or the tribes had in mind, but that is what it has become. I suspect that gambling exempt from law will not turn out well for the state or for the tribes.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

Cyburbian
Messages
216
Points
9
I heard someone say once if CA were to approve casinos in urban areas that would be the beginning to the end of Las Vegas's appeal...??? how do you feel about this. would that be true? just curious...
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
I think the California casinos will make a huge dent in Las Vegas before this thing plays out, whether or not Californa casinos are urban or not. Casino resorts with major entertainment will become the norm. The only difference between California and Las Vegas will be that Las Vegas has a concentration of casinos and California will have stand alone casinos.

California customers are so important to Las Vegas that I think Las Vegas and Nevada will experience difficult financial times over the next decade. Of course, the Las Vegas casinos are financing the California gaming expansion, so they will be in control even if Las Vegas goes into the tank.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,221
Points
29
DMS said:
Any comments ?

What kind of responses are you looking for?

I worked in an Indian casino for three years - one year dealing games and two years working the cameras in surveillance.

A casino in a city outside of Las Vegas is nothing new. Detroit has three of them and Joliet, Illinois, has a jolly riverboat full of gaming entertainments. The Greektown Casino in Detroit has majority ownership by the Sault Chippewa tribe in Michigan, the owners and operators of the Kewadin casinos throughout Michigan. Whether owned and operated by tribal Indians or private investors, a casino, from a planning perspective, will have similar issues and impacts on the surrounding community. What usually tends to be the difference between tribal Indians and private developers is the aggresiveness and unpredictability of some Indian tribes. Because of their special Federal status, they have more leverage and tend to be more independent. A tribal economic development corporation looking into creating or expanding gaming markets is a force to be reckoned with. The tribal ED organizations that do work with local governments and the surrounding community should be recognized as unique entities and treated with respect.
 

swdrumcp

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
Let me set a few things straight:

I am a member of a federally recognized tribe (cherokee). I live on ther reservation (when not in school).

First tribes do have soverignty if they are federally recognized. In our case, we have our own government, utilities, hospitals, etc... Not to mention that the federal government is supposed to provide healthcare for members but they were doing such a shitty ass job the tribe took over the hospital themselves. All the money to do this came directly from the casino. The casino helps the communitee in a great deal. The funding goes to the betterment of our people.

Whoever stated that tribes casinos are exempt from taxes, local laws, minumum wage etc need to grow up. The federal government will never alow that. The casino pays double the wages that any member in this area saw before.

Casinos can ONLY be built by federally recognized tribes, on tribally owned land and only with negotion of the state. The cherokee for example have a gaming pact with the state of North Carolina....this pact limits all sorts of things, jakpots for example. We are also prohibited by the state to have table games.....only video machines or simulated table games allowed. This will remain this way unless the state gets a lottery.

Of cousre these casinos have a huge impact politically, they bring in an enourmous amount of money, and politicians know money talks. They also have impact on local governments and communitys. In our case agreements have been made with every surrounding communitee. Jobs are provided, and money is donated to specific projects.

One point that is VERY important is that the company that runs the gaming establishement gets a majority of the money. Harrahs runs our casino and gets 50% of profits.

As far as effect, they are tremendous job providers, and provide money for community projects. As with any large development traffic will be a problem.


Any questions? Ask, Damon
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
This month's Preservation Magazine has a very good article on the impact of gaming in Central City, Black Hawk, and Cripple Creek, Colorado. Limited gambling was supposed to help in the preservation of these former mining towns. Has it worked? Yes and no. Definitely worth a read.
 

Wannaplan?

Bounty Hunter
Messages
3,221
Points
29
Just a few questions and clarifications...

swdrumcp said:
The casino helps the communitee in a great deal. The funding goes to the betterment of our people.

As a member of the Cherokee Tribe, do you receive an individual per cap payment or do all gaming revenues get re-invested into the government to fund services? I ask because there are instances where the individual per cap payments may in fact do more harm than good. Depending on the population, some individuals may take these payments as income in lieu of actually working. Not that I'm judging anyone, but from a certain perspective, more members of a community that actually work and contribute may in fact make that community stronger.

Whoever stated that tribes casinos are exempt from taxes, local laws, minumum wage etc need to grow up.

Why the attitude?

The casino pays double the wages that any member in this area saw before.

But not all tribes do this. Some tribes look at comparable wages and offer similar, though somewhat higher, wages to be competitive. Offering twice the wage for food and beverage employees than one would make waiting tables makes no sense for the bottom line. Offering 10% above the typical waitstaff wage makes more sense and contributes to the bottom line. Offering medical and 401(k) benefits also makes working for the tribe a good deal.

Casinos can ONLY be built... on tribally owned land and only with negotion of the state.

Not always. There is an Indian tribe in Michigan that opened a casino during the calm of the night back in the mid 1990s. It was located on the property where the out-county service office was located. The land was not an official part of the reservation, where an existing casino was already in operation. In fact, this land was seperated by 45 miles of road from the casino on the reservation. The State sued the tribe. The tribe successfully defended its right to operate its gaming operation on non-reservation lands. All the while, during the three years of litigation, the tribe successfully operated this casino and actually put an addition on the building to double the gaming space. There was no compact with state for this particular gaming operation. They now have one, but during this three-year period, the state successfully negotiated more compacts with other tribes, two which opened gaming operations within a 50-mile radius of this particular casino. Rumor was that the state was so irritated at this particular tribe that they went ahead and approved the other gaming compacts.

One point that is VERY important is that the company that runs the gaming establishement gets a majority of the money. Harrahs runs our casino and gets 50% of profits.

Some tribal gaming operations are run by the tribes themselves. My former employer was like that and they did a great job at managing the crew and the whole gaming operation. When I was in surveillance, there were some bone-headed decisions made by mangement, however, on the whole, the EDC of my former employer did a wonderful job at making the worksite feel like home.

As far as effect, they are tremendous job providers...

Yes, this is good for economically depressed areas. No question about that. However, are they quality jobs that encourage people to settle down and invest in their community? I once dealt table games at a tribal casino. I can tell you, it is a racket. Exciting and fun at times, but mostly depressing with very little job satisfaction. There is a high turn-over rate. I'd make friends, and within six months, I wondered where half my co-workers were. Tell me, where in the casino are the jobs with the highest level of job satisfaction and job retention? Further, what about unions? I know this is a politically charged topic, but in some circles, perhaps one of the best ways to retain your best gaming employees is through the power of a union. Are there any tribal gaming operations that have unions? My guess is there aren't any.
 

swdrumcp

Member
Messages
8
Points
0
Alan,

Yes we do recieve a percap payment. Its 25% of the total profits. The amount is relatively low and would never substitute income, however. In some tribes, pequot for example, they have a small population and recieve percaps in the order or 10's of thousands of dollars per year.

Was'nt getting an attitude. Seems silly for anybody to ever make an asumption like that.

But did this tribe still not own the land? As long as they owned the land it should be game. And this is a problem with this particular state. States have to allow them to be built I would asume, but would be necessary to negoiate first. If not then I could see lots of problems.

True tribes can run the casino themselves, just not in our case.

Yes the job turnover rate is tremendous. Most people see Harrahs as a bunch of assholes, and dispise working for them. If your late more than a couple of times, your automatically fired. The working standards are the most stringent I have ever seen, andmost people cant deal with that, especially in a community where employers know their employees on a personal basis and are more leniant.
 
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