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Tribal casinos provide major economic boost to California, study says

As Gov. Jerry Brown contemplates proposals to expand the number of tribal casinos in California, a new study says Indian gaming has been an economic boon for the state

As Gov. Jerry Brown contemplates proposals to expand the number of tribal casinos in California, a new study says Indian gaming has been an economic boon for the state.

Brown is expected in the next month to decide on whether to approve two more tribal casinos to join the 60 already in operation in California.

The existing tribal gaming operations have helped create 52,000 jobs in different industries throughout the state and $2.7 billion in income for state residents, according to the study commissioned by the California Nations Indian Gaming Assn.

Casino operations provide a ripple effect worth $7.5 billion to the economy, according to the study by Beacon Economics. The casino operations mean jobs in support companies such as firms that make slot machines and those that provide fruits and vegetables to casino restaurants, the study said.

It estimates that about 80% of workers in Indian casinos are not tribal members. Casinos operated by Native American tribes in the state provide $467 million in revenue for the state and local governments, the study concluded.

In addition, tribal gambling operations have provided $818 million to non-gaming tribes during the last dozen years to pay for education, healthcare and housing, it said.

"We have done well for our people, our neighbors, local and state governments and California taxpayers, as well as providing financial assistance for 71 other tribes to assist them in building a foundation for economic independence,'' said Daniel J. Tucker, chairman of the association.

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-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo: The Pala Casino Spa Resort northeast of San Diego was opened by the Pala Band of Mission Indians. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

 
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