Editorial: No reason to deny expanded liquor at Chumash casino

"Valley residents have until the close of business today to voice their opinions — pro and con — about the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ application to expand its liquor license at the casino and hotel.

If this request were being made by any other hospitality business in the Valley, it’s unlikely it would draw such resistance. However, no other local business draws the amount of traffic that the casino does, with its 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operations.

The sheer size of the business justifies some extra scrutiny of the application, and we’re glad the public is engaged in the process. We’re also glad that the county intends to argue for conditions on the expansion.

However, when all is said and done, this doesn’t seem like a huge change in what the tribe has been doing all along. Yes, more people will have access to alcohol if it’s served in the less expensive buffet restaurant, but we’re not talking about people chugging alcohol while sitting at slot machines. We’re talking about people having drinks with their meals.

If the state’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control does its job by putting strict rules in place — and enforces them — we see no reason why this request shouldn’t be approved.

Many resources in our region are devoted to promoting the wine industry and wine drinking. There really is no reason to deny the Chumash an expanded liquor license that is consistent with conditions imposed by local law enforcement and the state’s alcohol-control agency — as long as the rules are enforced."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Equal treatment for Valley businesses (The Santa Ynez Valley News 7/8)

Related Stories:
Chumash Tribe upset by mayor's opposition to liquor at casino (6/30)
County opposes expanded liquor license for Chumash casino (6/23)
Chumash Tribe seeks expansion for liquor license at casino (6/14)