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Letters: Who benefits from Indian casinos?

August 25, 2012

Re "A bad bet on Indian casinos," Editorial, Aug. 19

I understand concerns over the potential negative consequences if Indian gaming is permitted to expand to areas far from tribal lands.

On the other hand, there is a valid question as to whether the prosperity of a tribe should depend on mere fortuity.

There are far more impoverished Native Americans in California than there are those who are thriving. The conduct of the relatively fortunate few who have benefited from Proposition 1A and other changes in the law shows they have no intention of sharing their newfound wealth. I allude to the effort of a tribe that wants to open a casino near Barstow but has faced opposition from tribes who already have their wealth.

The question not addressed in your editorial is how to deal with those tribes who were not fortunate enough to have their ancestors settle in the right locale.

Joel Drum

Van Nuys

Seeking additional state revenue through additional gambling venues is short-sighted. Any financial benefit to be derived from more Indian casinos will be dwarfed by concomitant increases in governmental expenses such as police and social services. Those who don't understand that gambling essentially operates as a tax on the poor should view the ubiquitous beat-up clunkers that fill many Indian casino parking lots.

More casinos should be built only if taxes are also increased on the wealthy.

Joyce Howerton



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