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Arizona Casino Money Helps Community

31 May 2005

ARIZONA – As reported by the Tuscon Citizen: "Slot machine, blackjack and poker winnings by Arizona Indian casinos helped restore the sight of sheep in the Silver Bell Mountains, saved Tucson's trauma center and gave many Tucson-area teachers an extra $250 or so at the end of the school year.

"Proposition 202, a 2002 ballot measure, allowed tribal casinos to offer blackjack and add slot machines. In exchange, tribes opened their casinos' financial books to the state and shared with it 1 percent to 8 percent of their revenue.

"University Medical Center credits 202 as the savior of its trauma center - the only one in Tucson. UMC last year got $2.8 million in casino funding, a sizable chunk of the trauma center's $25 million budget.

"…The first two years of revenue sharing have generated $103 million from Arizona's 15 gaming tribes, which run 22 casinos, including four in the Tucson area. State law provides a formula to distribute the money, with the largest share, 56 percent, doled out among school districts across the state.

"The voter initiative also spells out that 28 percent goes to a Trauma and Emergency Services Fund, wildlife conservation and tourism promotion each get 8 percent, and 2 percent is devoted to problem gambling treatment and education. The Arizona Department of Gaming gets a minimum $8 million a year for administrative and regulatory expenses…"

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