NATIONAL GAMBLING IMPACT STUDY COMMISSION
MR. JEFFREY DENSE
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Jeffrey Dense and I hope I'm pronouncing your name correctly.
DR. DENSE: That's correct, Commissioner. I'm Jeff Dense, professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. My primary research expertise is in state gambling policy. As such, I wanted to highlight what I perceive to be one of the best practices within the tribal/state compacts. Under the leadership of Governor John Kitshopper the State of Oregon recently renegotiated compacts with the Grand Rod and Cow Creek Tribes have created a community development, a community benefit fund, excuse me. Six percent of the profits after assessments in terms of regulation are plowed back into the communities in which the Indian casinos are located.
The benefits are spread on a diverse geographic area. The Grand Rod Tribe, for example, benefits are distributed to 11 different counties and the Cow Creek Tribe to seven different counties. I think in terms of the mission of the Commission as far as looking at the economic and social benefits, I think this is an important model to adopt. In my own research it seems the prevalent models are; A, that the benefits accrue only to the home county in which the casino is located or; B, that the benefits, fiscal benefits are distributed via the state legislature and I think we are aware how politicalization of gambling may, indeed, be a problem.
From my perspective, trying to make a division between destination casinos in terms of Indian tribes, the Foxwoods and the Mohicanson (ph) being the foremost examples of that in the great majority of casinos which are stand alone operations with no hotels, no associated incomes, I think it's important to note that the role that Governor Kitshopper has taken in trying to make the tribes good neighbors with the communities that they go into.
It should be noted that the monies are spent on such diverse things as education, health, and gambling addiction education and treatment programs. In terms of how this can be adopted later on, I'm not sure that this is feasible to amend the IGRA for creation of some type of community benefit fund. Certainly that raises strident 10th and 11th Amendment problems, but I think in terms of the Commission's charge in looking at the best practices in state gambling policy, this is one that I wish you would consider. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER WILHELM: Thank you very much, Doctor Dense.