California Indian Casinos Generate $7.5 Billion

Thursday, 09 Aug 2012 02:21 PM

By Alec Weisman

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Indian casinos in California generate $7.5 billion in economic activity every year and have helped to create 52,000 jobs, according to a report released Wednesday.

Most of the jobs were directly connected to casino operations, but 22,000 were spread through the broader economy, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The study, conducted for the California Nations Indian Gaming Association by research firm Beacon Economics, put the overall income collected by the employees at about $2.7 billion. The study found that of the $7.5 billion in annual economic activity tied to the Indian gaming industry, about $3.5 billion is generated directly from spending at casinos.

Beacon used economic information from 13 of the 60 Indian tribes that operate casinos in California to compile the report. Beacon founding partner Christopher Thornberg, said the casinos “create close to $500 million in tax revenues for the state of California.”

The report also noted that gaming tribes have distributed $818 million to non-gaming tribes in the state through indirect spending and tribal philanthropy.

“Tribal communities historically have some of the highest poverty rates,” Thornberg noted. “These funds have been desperately needed, and have gone a long, long way to support services in these communities.”

But Cheryl Schmit, a spokesperson with the casino watchdog group Stand Up For California!, criticized the report as “incomplete,” telling the newsaper it failed to analyze or address the negative economic and social impacts caused by Indian casinos.


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