This Hatch-funded research project examines the broad based impacts social, cultural, political, and economic of the expansion and development of tribal casino development on rural resident quality of life in upstate New York.
On October 24, 2001, the New York State Assembly gave legislative approval to the largest expansion of gambling in New York history. In addition to the introduction of video lottery terminals at many horse racing tracks, the gambling package included six new Indian casinos, three to be located in western New York and three others to be located in the Catskills. Although the six new casinos will be Indian-owned and operated, the state is earmarked to receive at least 25 percent of slot machine revenues. Governments where the facilities are located will receive one-fourth of the state's share of gambling revenues. This expansion of gambling after years of political opposition came in the wake of economic reverberations following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Hoping to offset revenue losses estimated to be more than $9 billion over the next 18 months by capitalizing on current demand for gaming activity, proponents estimate that casino revenue will contribute up to $1 billion annually to the state coffers.
The recent decision approving the expansion of Indian casinos in New York provides an unprecedented opportunity to study the impact of casinos on local economies and resident quality of life. While most residents place a high value on the rural character of their counties, they welcome the anticipated economic benefits of tribal casinos for the revitalization of their communities. In collaboration with colleagues in Development Sociology and the American Indian Program, this study examines changes in resident perceptions of the effect of casinos and related development on themselves, their towns, and the region.
Information on resident attitude toward the expansion and development of gambling as a form of economic development has improved our understanding of public awareness and support for this increasingly popular alternative form of economic development. Preliminary findings provide researchers and policy makers with an improved understanding of a broad range of impacts economic, social, political, and cultural that casino development can have with respect to rural community development and the well-being of rural residents in upstate New York.
- Federal Formula Funds - Research (e.g., Hatch, McIntire-Stennis, Animal Health)
- Angela A. Gonzales, Assistant Professor, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University,