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Survey finds more residents support tribe’s casino plan

Tue., Jan. 31, 2012

About 40 percent of Spokane County residents surveyed last fall said they favor plans by the Spokane Tribe to build a casino near Airway Heights.

Another 34 percent of the 400 people surveyed by Spokane firm Strategic Research Associates said they oppose the casino plan.

The survey was not underwritten by the tribe or by any other group, said Joanne Vega, a spokeswoman for the company. Strategic Research added that question to a broader phone survey, she said.

“We felt it was of particular interest to the community to add that question,” Vega said.

The Spokane Tribe is seeking federal and state approval to build a casino and hotel on non-reservation land roughly three miles from Northern Quest Casino and Resort, opened in 2000 by the Kalispel Tribe. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has not yet ruled on the request.

The 400 calls were made randomly by Strategic Research Associates workers.

The survey had a margin of error of about 5 percentage points.

When asked, about 65 percent of those answering said they knew about the Spokane Tribe’s effort and 35 percent didn’t.

All 400 were then asked how strongly they felt for or against the new casino and hotel.

The results broke down this way:

• 22 percent strongly favored the casino.

• 18 percent mildly favored it.

• 25 percent were neutral.

• 15 percent mildly opposed it.

• 19 percent strongly opposed it.

Another 1 percent did not respond.

The survey results were weighted, said Vega, to produce results that corresponded to the age and gender of Spokane County’s overall population.

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