October 16, 2004 — By a margin of more than 3-to-1, California voters are more likely to favor proposals to build new Indian gaming casinos if the tribe that benefits is local and has ancestral ties to the local area, a new statewide survey found.
Conversely, little public support exists among California voters for casinos proposed by tribes from outside the local area or who have no legitimate ancestral claims to the local area. This is the practice commonly referred to as reservation shopping.
These findings are the result of a statewide poll of likely voters conducted by Probolsky Research during the last week of September.
This anti-outsiders sentiment is strongest in the most northern parts of the state by margins of 5-to-1 (85% to 15%) and in the Inland Empire by margins of 4-to-1 (79% to 21%). Voters in the Los Angeles area, while still more supportive of local tribes, or those with ancestral ties to the local area, do so at barely half that of the cumulative 3-to-1 statewide margin.
News accounts in California and across the country suggest that many new proposals to build Indian Casinos involve reservation shopping. This is defined generally as the practice whereby established gaming interests pursue partnerships with Indian tribes typically tribes that are landless or with unfortunate economic circumstances and out of the way reservations to build casinos in prime urban locations or markets. Case in point: The recent proposal by a San Diego tribe and Las Vegas casino developer Steve Wynn to build a casino in urban Garden Grove, California, just blocks from The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
The telephone survey of California residents who are likely to vote was conducted Wednesday September 22 through Monday September 27, 2004. The margin of error is +/-3.5%.