Tuesday, March 31, 2009

CAP Opposed to Gambling Expansion in AZ

From Cathi Herrod, Center for Arizona Policy.

CAP Asks Governor and Arizona Legislature to Oppose Gambling Expansion

Today, Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) asked Governor Jan Brewer and state legislators to oppose any expansion of gambling in Arizona. Expanding gambling would have harmful consequences for Arizona families and communities, while doing nothing to help the ailing state economy. Two major new gambling enterprises are being considered by elected officials.

First, gambling proponents at state dog and horse racetracks and some state legislators have suggested expanding gambling to solve our state budget deficit. The proposed expansion apparently would allow racetracks to build casinos or to have slot machines and table games. Because many of these discussions have been brewing behind closed doors at the Capitol, gambling expansion could slip into the budget under the radar. That is why CAP is speaking out now to oppose any such proposals.

Expanding off-reservation gambling would break the agreements that Arizona currently has with the Indian tribes. As a result, the tribes could expand their gambling operations all across the state with no limits - making Arizona far worse than Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Gambling will not help our economy, our families, or our communities. Studies repeatedly show that the costs of gambling outweigh the benefits by at least a 3:1 ratio.

Additionally, the Tohono O'odham tribe has announced plans to build a casino in the heart of Glendale's major economic development area and directly across the street from a local high school. CAP is urging state legislators and Gov. Brewer to voice opposition to this new casino. For the casino to become a reality, the U.S. Secretary of the Interior must authorize the tribe's land to be placed in trust.

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