No Casino In Broken Arrow :

Arguments for Indian Gaming Casinos:

1. They create jobs.

– This is only a half-truth because the persons presenting the argument rarely if ever site how many jobs would have been created by other entities that will now not be built do to competition with a casino. i.e. a restaurant that cannot offer a $10 lobster dinner because the revenue for the casino does not come from the sale of food. Also a little known fact is that anyone of non-native descent working at a Indian establishment can be dismissed for telling a native what to do, even if that person is the native’s supervisor. The jobs created will most likely be low wage, high turnover, and non-skilled jobs.

2. It is the individual’s choice to frequent and it does not affect anyone else.

– Again a half-truth. Gambling while a controllable vice for some ends up for many an addiction that causes harm to loved ones and co-workers. There are numerous studies done by Oregon University, Washington University, and others where the states have had a exponential growth of addictive gambling. I spent some years in the Northwest and they have constantly running ads for gamblers anonymous. At the time, gaming was still new to OK, so I noticed more than the people who lived there.

3. The owner’s of the land can develop what they want without regard to the community.

– If this were true then there would be no need for zoning laws, city planners, or even a cohesive order for a city. An example is the planning for an adult entertainment venue is very restricted. There are many laws that keep it from being adjacent to neighborhoods or in areas where children will have ready access. However, not every city has these same laws. In Portland, the common joke is that they have more gentleman’s clubs per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.

4. Because an aboriginal people group is doing the development then the concerns of the current residents are inconsequential because the tribe has a legal right to do what it wants with its land.

– If this were true, why not consider a TARE plant, or energy station, or recycling facility, or any other manufacturing plant that would produce goods to be purchased? The original intent of allowing Indian Gaming was under the guise of not having any other source of revenue to support the tribe (California v. Cabazon Band). However, now that is a moot point. The real reason is to get maximum profits from the surrounding citizens without contributing to the community in the form of taxes or wages. The negative effects of a casino are not just inconsequential they are sought after.

5. Because the City Council and Mayor had at least one meeting on the topic, the community has been represented fairly.

– While legally true, because the residents vote to have representatives in office. The farce is that any decision made can be done without the consent of the governed. Notice being served in a federal posting site or at City Hall does not reach even 1% of the population and to claim that the citizens were told based on this kind of action is underhanded and obviously self-serving.

This casino is a bad idea all around. It is bad for the citizens, it is bad for the businesses, and it is ultimately bad for the tribe as they will garner no good will from pressing on with a project that is so clearly unwanted by the community.

Last and not least is the city of Broken Arrow was voted as one of the safest places to live after the 2000 census according to the chamber. How long do you think that will last with the following in mind?

Casinos and Crime
By Richard Morin
Thursday, May 11, 2006

May 10, 2006
Article: AR2006051001912

… Mustard and Earl L. Grinols of Baylor University analyzed crime data collected from all 3,165 U.S. counties in the United States from 1977 to 1996 and looked at local crime rates before and after casinos opened.

They found that crime didn’t budge when a casino began operating — at least at first. Crime began to rise after the first year, slowly at first and then more quickly, until it had far surpassed what it would have been if the casino had never opened. By the fifth year of operation, robberies were up 136 percent; aggravated assaults, 91 percent; auto theft, 78 percent; burglary, 50 percent; larceny, 38 percent; and rape, 21 percent. Controlling for other factors, 8.6 percent of property crimes and 12.6 percent of violent crimes were attributed to casinos, he said. …

Original Report:
Casinos, Crime, & Community Costs
Earl Grinols, David Mustard
Sept. 2004

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