New study looks at the impact gaming is having on the Inland Empire

A new economic-impact report commissioned by an Indian consortium says tribal gaming has brought tens-of-thousands of jobs and more than $4 billion in revenues to Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

The Economic Activities and Impact study was prepared by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College. It was financed by the Tribal Alliance of Sovereign Indian Nations (TASIN).

“It is important that people understand the impact that [gaming] has on the economy,” said David Huntoon, a fellow at the Rose Institute.

Critics of tribal gaming, such as Cheryl Schmit, director of Stand Up For California, says the picture painted by the study is incomplete. “Studies like these don’t look at everything when they’re commissioned by the tribes.” She said the report doesn’t address such indirect issues as “traffic, water, sewage and transportation issues–specifically on the I-10.”

The study could provide ammunition to counter arguments that tribes are getting richer at the expense of surrounding communities, which may have been one of the goals of the study in the first place, says Barbara O’Connor, communications professor at CSU Sacramento.

“This study isn’t going to persuade unions or people who don’t like gambling

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