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New poll shows continuing support for gaming on tribal lands

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PHOENIX – A new poll conducted by the Arizona Indian Gaming Association found that 60 percent of voters believe the state has the right amount of gaming in play today. Only 25 percent of those polled say the state has too much gaming, and only one person in 10 believes that Arizona has too little gaming available.

Among the questions asked, voters were polled on their view of the location of gaming casinos and whether having to drive 10 miles or more was seen as an inconvenience. Of those polled, 81 percent said casinos are convenient enough. Only 13 percent said casinos should be located within cities and towns.

Asked if voters supported gaming being allowed at race tracks, voters were clear in their opposition; 66 percent said gaming should not be available at race tracks. Only 30 percent supported racinos. Of the 66 percent who are opposed, over one-third expressed strong opposition.

Voters were also asked to weigh in about the impact on Indian gaming if racinos are allowed in Arizona. The terms of the compacts state that, if racinos are allowed, all limits on Indian gaming will be eliminated, including the number of casinos, types of games and number of slots; resulting in full-scale Las Vegas-style gaming. In addition, tribal contributions to state and local governments will be reduced by more than 80 percent, or at least $100 million a year. Given this information, support for racinos plunged to only 19 percent.

The results of the poll indicate that fully one-third of voters believe tribes have upheld the promises made to them in 2002 which ensured that gaming would be limited in scope, well-regulated and only on reservation land. Another one-third says tribes have probably upheld them. Only 15 percent of those polled said tribes have not upheld these promises and 20 percent are unsure.