Column: Tribal gaming has negative impact on communities

"This week I’ll discuss the false nature of these claims and the negative economic impacts on every community that are easily identifiable and those that are more difficult to measure. Lastly, I will discuss the manner in which a literal handful of casino Indians and their gambling cartel have totally corrupted the State of California and its 38 million citizens.

One does not have to be an economist to understand the false economy of gambling casinos in general. The vast sums of money lost there in the name of entertainment are often monies lost by people who cannot afford to lose that money. Slot machines are the favorite vehicle to lose money, accounting for about 85 percent of the profits raked in by all casinos.

The difference between a casino in Nevada and an Indian casino is stark: The gambling casinos in Nevada pay taxes; Indian casinos do not. The Nevada casinos are strictly regulated and policed. Indian casinos are not. Nevada casinos require minimum fair rates of return for slot machines. Indian casinos do not and are free to change out the random operating chips in these slot machines whenever they want.

The tremendous costs of providing public services like police, fire, schools, jails, hospitals, public works, social services, etc., used regularly by Indian casinos and related businesses, and the demands placed on infrastructure like roads, bridges, public buildings, and other facilities, are all paid for by the non-Indian taxpayers because these tribal businesses are exempt from property taxes, bed taxes, sales taxes, personal property taxes, corporate taxes and state income taxes among others.

As an example, the Chumash casino grossing between $250 and $300 million a year in gambling losses, is able to evade approximately $20 million in combined taxes annually. The Chumash put sales tax as an item on bills and receipts and in an amount identical to what the state requires for all others, in order to make customers think the tribe pays the state tax monies. But that money does not go to state and local governments; it is kept by the tribe who recently allocated some $3 million from that fund to buy property in Solvang. "

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