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Senator Perata Opposes Casino In Richmond
March 6, 2003

In a letter dated February 28, 2003, to Mayor Irma Anderson, Senator Don Perata made a strong plea for Richmond to reject the urban casino proposed by an Indian tribe.

Perata cited a recent Harvard study of 100 communities with Indian casinos that found that retail employment, local government employment and earnings in restaurants and bars all decline as people spend less time and money in those places and more in casinos -- termed the "substitution effect.'

Perata wrote "The same Harvard study showed that when a casino moves in, it does not generate more income for the community. In fact, total income in observed areas was statistically unchanged. The study concluded, 'There appears to be more of a shift in the types and locations of work, and perhaps the overall number of workers, than a rise in per capita earnings'"

He said that when Prop 1a was placed on the ballot and passed by voters, it was neither the intent of the legislature nor the will of the voters to see urban Indian casino proposals "popping up all over California." He said that Governor Davis, Attorney General Lockyer and Senator Feinstein, to name a few, have all expressed publicly their own opposition to urban Indian casinos.

Perata's letter was copied to Governor Gray Davis, Police Chief Joseph Samuels, Jr., and members of the Richmond City Council.

The Richmond City Council intends to conduct its own study, at a cost of up to $100,000 to find out if Harvard is right.