Gary Metoxen: Indian gaming generates economic opportunities

Ongoing construction on the West Valley Resort in Glendale, Arizona. Photo from Facebook

Gary Metoxen, a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, explains why the state of Arizona should embrace a new casino from the Tohono O'odham Nation
A brief history of Indian casinos came about in 1979 with the Seminole Tribe of Florida. In 1987, the United States Supreme Court recognized Indian gaming. The court ruled that federally recognized tribes could operate casinos outside of state jurisdiction. Why? Because the tribes were considered sovereign entities of the United States and must not be directly prohibited by the states.

In 1988, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which established rules for the operation and regulations of Indian gaming. This act called for a negotiated compact between tribes and the state and must be approved by the Department of Interior. The National Indian Gaming Association was set up to provide oversight to protect the welfare of the tribes seeking to be self-sufficient through Indian gaming. The Indian Gaming Commission Agency was set up to investigate, audit, review and approve gaming ordinances.

What happened when the Oneida Tribe built their casino? Several hotels were built, a bank was built and several strip malls developed, as well as Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club and several convenience stores and gas stations and numerous restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast-food establishments. All of these businesses contributed to the success of the casino. Most importantly, the casino and other businesses employ personnel all of whom will be paying taxes and spending locally.

Indian gaming today provides more than 1 million jobs, pays millions in local, state and federal taxes as well as supports local charities.

Get the Story:
Gary Metoxen: State, West Valley, tribe win with casino (Your West Valley 6/19)

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