Indian gaming query

Fri, 17 Mar 1995 08:58:13 -0500

I have received more responses to this query than I anticipated--thanks to
all--and have also gotten some questions about the focus of the intended
project. Here is a bit of clarification.

The Center for Improving Mountain Living (CIML) is a major technical assistance
and service unit of Western Carolina University. CIML extends university
resources to the region, particularly in the areas of rural economic and social
development. CIML and some of the faculty of Western Carolina want to plan
a long-term project examining the potential impacts that gaming on the Qualla
Boundary, the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokees, may have on the
surrounding region.

The Eastern Band has offered bingo for several years and plans are underway to
build a large casino. There seems to be a lot of information about how gaming
on a large scale might affect the people on the reservation. CIML proposes to
ask how Indian gaming affects nearby communities--the non-Indian populations.

The perspective is to be multidisciplinary; CIML's economic development
division has a high regional profile, and university faculty interested
include the business school, parks and recreation, anthropology, sociology,
and history.

A few of the questions posed to assess the impact of gaming on the Qualla
Boundary and on surrounding western North Carolina might be:

What is the impact of gaming on tax revenues in surrounding communities and
counties? Will the tribal council purchase land outside the reservation and
remove it from county tax rolls?

What is the impact of population changes due to gaming on health, education,
social services and related activities in the surrounding communities? Will
there be a shortage of physicians and medical facilities?

What is the impact on local business development and industrial recruitment?

What will be the impact of gaming on employment, including wages and benefits,
seasonality, quality of jobs available? Will local people be hired or in-

What might be the effects on crime rates and police effectiveness?

The list goes on and on. I am trying to locate any studies that have been
conducted in the vicinity of other tribal gaming enterprises--we don't need
to reinvent the wheel except as it pertains to our particular regional

Any help, thoughts, or ideas are welcomed. Thanks to all who have taken the
time to reply thus far.

Jane Brown
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723