The California Press Enterprise has reported on the results of a study released by UC Riverside. Analyzing census data spanning ten years, the study concluded that families who live in close proximity to tribal casinos in California benefit from greater income increases than families living further from gambling reservations. While critics of the study cite their is no reasonable correlation to explain the income increase other than coincidence or the fact that there are plenty of tribal casinos in California, researchers are backing their claims with strong figures.
Using census data through 2000, the study shows that families who live within ten miles of Indian reservations operating casinos had an overall increase in income of 55% as compared to those families living further than ten miles from casinos, who showed an overall income increase of 33% since 1990.
The researchers concluded in the report that tribal gaming in California has directly helped to improve economic and social conditions on Indian reservations and surrounding areas, most notably in the poorest regions of the State. They also gave credit to tribal casinos for decreasing unemployment rates and reducing welfare dependence.
In addition to census data, UC Riverside researchers used State reports and other information sources to facilitate their study and compile the report. With more reports expected in the future, the first batch of analyzed data comes nearly one-and-a-half years after UC Riverside’s Center for California Native Nations offered to take a closer look at the economic and social impacts of tribal casino gambling in California.