Don’t Let Casinos Destroy Washington Cities

foqus Flickr

Target: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Goal: Block the off-reservation casino that will burden the city of Spokane, Washington

The Spokane Tribe in Washington State is seeking an exception that will allow the construction of a casino in Washington’s second largest city. Casinos in urban areas are known to damage communities by undermining small businesses, increasing crime, and congesting traffic. The Spokane Tribe must not be allowed to build a casino in the city of Spokane.

When the Spokane Tribe purchased the land in question, they publicly stated that they had no intention of ‘engaging in gambling’ on that site. The tribe already owns two casinos in the area, but now believes this city location will be far more lucrative. Because the land is not on a reservation, casino construction there is prohibited. However, exceptions can be made through appeal to the Department of the Interior. To make this rare exception will set a precedent for urban areas across America, a trend that would have terrible consequences for our country.

While casinos in rural areas tend to boost the local economy by drawing in visitors, city casinos are known to have the opposite effect. Recent studies show that the vast majority of money spent at urban casinos is from local residents, which drains money from small businesses in the area. They also correlate with increases in rape, murder, and other violent crimes, as well as property crimes such as theft. This casino will be nothing but a burden to the city of Spokane.

The Spokane Tribe must preserve the community by following the rules and keeping casinos out of our cities. By signing the petition below, you can ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar not to allow a casino to be built in the city of Spokane.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Secretary Salazar,

The Spokane Tribe’s request to build a casino in Spokane, WA threatens to set a dangerous precedent for cities across our country. Recent Attorney General reports have documented the effects of casinos in urban areas, and the results are sinister. This casino will bring heavy traffic congestion and increased rates of violent crime to Spokane. It will also burden small businesses by draining local spending money, an effect the city cannot withstand in this economy.

The Spokane Tribe specifically stated that they had no intention of building a casino on this land when it was acquired. Now they wish to go back on this statement, and will set an example for cities across our nation that can have only negative consequences. Please don’t allow the spread of gambling in our cities. Reject the request to build a casino in Spokane.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: foqus via Flickr.

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2 Comments

  1. I think that this casino is a great idea; it would bring more people to spoken and they would shop IN Spokane when the Spokane tribe wants to build in Airway Heights. The casino would bring in a lot of jobs for Spokane and the surrounding areas. All I’m trying to say is maybe we should all stop looking at the bad and start looking at the whole picture.

  2. My family lives very close to where they want to build the casino. I am deeply opposed to it. The traffic alone caused by the opening of Spoko has been difficult to deal with and accidents in that immediate area have seriously increased since the day it opened. You may say that it’s unfair that the Kalispel tribe has built a casino in Airway Heights, but I point out that it was built next to Spokane Raceway which is already brightly lit and noisy. There is also Shamrock Paving across the street and Airway Heights Correctional behind Northern Quest. It was not as heavily populated as a residential area until years after it was built. The Spokane tribe is trying to build a well lit, noisy casino in a location that is a well established residential area. There are no other businesses in the immediate vicinity. It will make an even worse situation for those of us who live here. When I purchased my home 16 years ago it was with knowing that Fairchild AFB was down the road and that we would occasionally be able to hear the raceway – I can still enjoy many quiet nights and stargaze with my kids in the backyard. If the casino is buillt I will lose those things. This tribe who said they wouldn’t build a casino on that land obviously can’t keep their word. I’m sure they’ll want to have a summer concert series like Northern Quest and then we’d have to suffer through that additional traffic and noise. I’m all for development, but with the fact that we live in a rural area and want to keep it RURAL! If I wanted to live near a casino, shopping complex or hotel, I would have purchased my home in the city limits. We don’t need another casino here and 99% of the people who live in the immediate area don’t want one. We all purchased homes out here to get away from the city. The tribe should stop trying to shove this down our throats. They’ve been told for years in no uncertain terms that very thing. In fact, it’s been 9 years that I personally know of because I remember attending meetings when my son wasn’t even a year old. If they want to build a casino – build it on Reservation land – not in my backyard! If it’s as great as they claim it will be, people will go THERE. Stop putting your needs and wants before the local community’s needs and desires, don’t put civilian jobs at risk with a base closure – which would be 3 times the job loss than the jobs your casino will offer. Before you think I’m a white person who discriminates against Indians, I am Native Hawaiian and my father in law is a registered member of the Blackfoot tribe. I am simply a mother who moved from her Native home with the specific purpose of finding a home that could offer my children the freedom to grow up unencumbered by the bright lights and noise of city life.

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