Published January 28, 2005, Press Democrat, Let the Public Speak, Title "Competing casinos"

To: Letter Editor The Press Democrat

Subject: Urban Gambling

By: Robert E. Crawford

1390 Windsor River Road


In response to the editorial appearing in the Sunday, January 23, 2005 issue of the Press Democrat, "Casino Fight". I believe a curious fact of life is being overlooked in the rhetoric of this quarrel.

There are a finite number of people foolish enough to waste their entertainment dollars on ‘professional gambling’. The casinos of Nevada are now suffering a loss of customers because California Indian tribes are opening competing casinos at locations almost as easy to reach as the plush resorts of Reno and Las Vegas.

If the gambling syndicates, openly using California tribes as front men, are allowed to invade urban areas of any state with casinos, the most likely losers will be the tribes who have invested large sums of money, mortgaged their birthrights to build casinos in locations not nearly as accessible as central cities. These tribes, the ones in rural areas, will be the losers. Has the BIA even thought about this?

I freely admit to a personal interest in the outcome of the Lytton band’s efforts. They are seeking to purchase land in my backyard with some of the profits, if they get any, of the San Pablo Casino. Although I would much rather have wealthy Indians than poor Indians next door, I honestly believe they will be undermining those tribes in rural areas with historical tribal lands. What bay area resident would drive 60 to 100 miles to an inconvenient location to gamble when they could do it right there ‘around the corner’ in San Pablo?

I believe the same holds true all over this country. If we have urban or inner-city casinos, the rural casinos will become a thing of the past.

Perhaps that is good. Don’t you think our all-embracing government should at least debate it?

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