As a West Plains business owner and major employer, I am concerned with the significant policy implications the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino could have at the local, state and federal level.
This casino would be the result of economic convenience as opposed to true economic need. The Spokane Tribe already has assets it can develop to generate significant revenues for tribal members without seeking an exception to build an off-reservation casino on the West Plains. Only five exceptions have been granted by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs in more than 20 years, and these exceptions were based on severe need, where the tribes literally had no other means of generating revenues to support the welfare of their members.
Granting the Spokane Tribe of Indians this exception would likely encourage other tribes to seek similar exceptions in order to locate casinos near major metropolitan areas simply as a matter of conveniently accessing potential customers as opposed to leveraging their existing resources in order to generate economic benefits for their members.
While I fully support the continued commercial and residential development of the West Plains, another casino is not the development this community needs.
Michael A. Senske