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Casinos muscle in on 'Five C’s' of Az economy

The “Five C’s” that traditionally made the bulk of Arizona’s economy – copper, climate, cattle, cotton, citrus – may need to make room for a sixth: casinos. Revenue from Arizona’s 22 casinos far surpassed cattle, cotton and citrus in the most recent figures available.... Read more»

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1768 comments
Dec 15, 2011, 9:44 am
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“My sense is that most (gaming money) is spent by residents, so this is just a churn of local dollars,” Hoffman wrote in an e-mail. “A dollar spent on gaming means one less dollar spent on some other local activity.

“Indeed, cattle, cotton and citrus aren’t as significant in the state today, but touting gaming as key to economic prosperity using these numbers is a stretch,” he wrote.

This is what I was thinking when I read the story. I was going to comment saying something to this effect, but this Hoffman guy beat me to it.

I personally have no problem with casinos being here. I support them, in fact. The Pasqua-Yaqui nation has made the most of these opportunities. I spent part of my time growing up very close to their nation (pre-casino), and when I go there now…I can see a BIG difference, and for the better. Better roads, a medical clinic, a library, a couple of parks…and off the res, the wall of the Circle K is no longer lined with bums begging for change to buy a 40 oz of some horrible beer. The quality of life has definitely increased over there, and it’s because of the prosperity gaming has brought their nation. Even the casino itself is very nice, and AVA is a great venue that has brought acts to town that we would have had to otherwise go to Phoenix to see.

I guess my point is that you really can’t consider gaming a boon or bust for the state’s economy, but it has most definitely improved the economies of the Native American nations…without them having to rely on federal dollars.

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Joshua Armstrong/Cronkite News Service

Casinos raked in $1.7 billion in fiscal 2011, putting them well ahead of receipts for cattle, cotton and citrus – three of the Five C’s, with copper and climate, that were recognized as traditional drivers of the Arizona economy.

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