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The Grand and the Grand Road to Riches

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The Grand and the Grand Road to Riches

Karla Y. Phelps, “The Pokerbo, the Coushatta, and the Community: Road to Riches or Road to Ruin?”Touchstone, vol. XIX (2000), 23-38.

This article by Karla Phelps examines the socioeconomic and political impact the Grand Casino Coushatta has had on the Coushatta reservation and the surrounding community in Allen Parish. Phelps discusses the condition of the reservations and Allen Parish before and after the opening of the gambling establishment.

Historically, Allen Parish was an agricultural community, having 357 farms in 1992. Some of the economic problems in Allen Parish were a low per capita income and low sales tax revenues. Their infrastructure was in poor condition and they had no revenues to repair the infrastructure. Allen Parish had unemployment rates of 14.2% in 1998. The high unemployment rates necessarily led to welfare dependency among the Coushattas and people in Allen Parish.

This was the state of the Coushatta tribe and Allen Parish when a Nebraska developer negotiated with the Coushattas to open the casino. After the Tribal-State Compact for the Conduct of Class III Gaming was approved by the Coushatta Tribal Council and the State of Louisiana, Grand Casinos purchased the land, donated it to the Coushattas, and promised to provide job training and other economic assistance to the Coushattas.

The welcoming casino was announced to the tribe and Allen Parish. The Coushatta tribe was given the option of having a casino established on their land adjoining the Allen Parish Land Preserve. Allen Parish had been buying land for years and was finally getting a high quality land development. The Coushatta tribe received 200,000 acres of land, which they promised to responsibly use. They also promised to build infrastructure, sell off surplus rice padd lots, and employ blacks and other people of color. Allen Parish was given the option of building a casino on any of the land that the Coushatta tribe granted them.

The Coushatta tribe agreed to all of these conditions which allowed them to develop their land and make a profit. Later, many other tribes entered into compacts with Chance investors which resulted in them receiving plans to develop their lands. Many of the tribes are now poised to do enormous development on their lands. Grand Casinos are profiting because they have so greatly reduced taxes that they no longer require to run government. All of the tribes are benefiting from these types of restructurings.

The next thing they [the state and the tribes] did was to negotiate a compact on lands that the Coushattas had purchased in Louisiana. The compact assured the Coushatta that they could develop the land for commercial purposes if they chose to do so. The state is now allowed to relax the restrictions that were in place on any type of casino development. The state is in a position to allow additional types of gaming, which has a multiplier effect on gaming revenue. Consequently, the possibility of losing $1.5 billion dollars on a single fiscal year is quickly offset by the possibility of winning over a million dollars in additional tax revenue for the state.

The bottom line here is that if you are a businessman and you want to make a profit, going to a casino and playing slots is a quick way to make a lot of money, but these profits are because of people, not because of the math of the game. Furthermore, as stated above, the types of slots that are available to you online are more numerous and varied than the ones that you can play in a casino. Therefore, when you shop around for slots machine systems, you are not limited to the traditional, boring three reel, one payline slots, but you can find a machine that will fit your budget, and even your personality, according to the name of the machine.