By Josh Richman
Thursday, December 20th, 2007 at 1:47 pm in General.
Just because the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians backed off its hopes to install Nevada-style slot machines at its San Pablo Lytton Casino (formerly the Casino San Pablo card room) doesn’t mean its opponents have stopped taking potshots.
A spokesman for the East Bay Coalition Against Urban Casinos — a group of concerned citizens whose effort has been bankrolled by local card rooms who don’t want an Indian casino’s competition — sent out this release yesterday:
Casino San Pablo’s numbers are in: Estimated at $132 million for 2007. These numbers are unreleased but we expect them to be released formally in a few weeks. Tack these onto $140 million in 2006…
Did you hear that sucking sound? That was over a quarter of a billion dollars being drained out of the East Bay community in two years!
If it is true that the population within a five and 10 mile radius provides a casino with its most frequent player pool, then Casino San Pablo is winning on the backs of the East Bay.
At $33,192,867 for the quarter (Confirmed with Bradley Ward, Finance Director of the City of San Pablo), or $132,770,000 on an annual basis, Casino San Pablo is celebrating their most prosperous holiday season ever. This is representative of the enormous amount of income they have generated since installing the slot machines in August 2005. They win!
It is common knowledge that gambling rates go up during the holidays. The increased financial challenges of holiday gift giving and celebrations lead many to turn to gambling to help pay off debts (From Michigan Dept. of Health). People also gamble more when they are under stress, some do it as an escape, but more than often, it is an attempt to take a little bit of money and win a lot.
The trouble is, in order for a casino like Casino San Pablo, which attracts mostly lower-income clientele who live in the area, to make a lot of money, many people have to repeatedly lose lots of money.
Despite what the Prop 94-97 TV ads in favor of the casino propositions are spinning, most people would honestly say that the people who are losing their money this Christmas at Casino San Pablo probably need it a whole lot more than the already-rich Lyttons do.
Replied Doug Elmets, spokesman for the Lytton Band:
Of course, the Card Clubs don’t mention the hundreds of new living wage, full benefit jobs that the Casino has created; the millions that the Casino contributes to the City of San Pablo which keeps the City from spiraling into bankruptcy; the millions that are pumped into the local economy through vendors that service the casino; the millions that go to public safety to make San Pablo a more protected community; the hundreds of local non-profits and disadvantaged citizens who benefit from the Lytton Tribe’s generosity; and the members of the Lytton tribe who now have housing, health care and educational opportunities, something that has eluded them for generations.