The Spokane Tribe is making an effort to gain approval for another casino in the Airway Heights area. Their appeal describes the economic development (STEP Plan) that these activities would bring to the area. We are promised thousands of new jobs at the site, which would include a casino, a 300-room hotel, restaurants and retail areas.
More low-paying service sector jobs are not what the Spokane needs. This project has no economic value to the greater Spokane community. It will simply become another venue that will divert regional customers from Spokane hotels, restaurants, movie theaters and other entertainment venues.
We have seen the negative impact that the Northern Quest Casino has on the local hotel, restaurant, and other commercial trade. Two casinos in such close proximity may, in fact, saturate the market.
Local residents patronizing such casinos often substitute gambling for other important goods and services, which may include food and utility payments. Those who seek to hit the jackpot should realize that the expensive facility they frequent was built with gambling earnings – their hard-earned money.
Much research shows that legalized gambling drains regional economies due to the increased socio-economic costs, and damage to existing businesses.