Citizens For a Better Taos Meeting

On Thursday, 21 October at 7 p.m., there will be a meeting at the Alcalde Room at Coronado Hall on Civic Plaza Drive regarding the TCE (Taos Casino Enterprizes) efforts to bring large scale gambling into Taos.
The Coalition for a Better Taos (CBT) will sponsor the event, which will cover potential environmental and cultural impacts from the proposed casino.
All citizens, particularly those trying to raise children in Taos, are welcome!

The Impact of a Casino In the Center of Taos

The Bureau Of Indian Affairs is accepting public comments through 11 August 1999. The contact is at the bottom of this page!

  Taos is an art and historical town rich in its own 800 years of history.  From the Pueblo, with the main buildings dating back to 1200, the festivals, gatherings and pow-wows have always brought people to the area. St Francis de Asisi Church in Ranchos, the main Taos Plaza are draws to thousands of people each year who come to learn about who we are. It is a world-renowned art colony that for the past 80 years has attracted artists, writers and musicians to the beauty of the area. The rich cultural heritage that makes us what we are is one of the main reasons that people visit Taos.

 Taos is not without its socio-economic problems, some of which are tied to being a single industry community - namely tourism.  Taos is changing in many ways, some of which include an increase in cottage industries which support many people in this community, along with construction. Many shops and galleries are dependent on tourism for the continued economic health of the community, and there are a large number of businesses that support the local community.
 When a community has a casino open many  small businesses fail as the nature of the tourist changes from the art buyer, family visitor to gamblers whose sole interest is gambling.  People who would come to town as tourists are replaced by people who come to town to gamble.  People who come to gamble do not have money to go shopping, and as soon as they have exhausted their money at the casino, they head back home.
 In towns across the country that have had gambling interests open in town, there has always been a degradation in the socio-economic quality of the town. Businesses fail, the need for more monies for government at all levels as well as the strain on the local infrastructure, the loss of tax base, have destroyed the former health and sustainability of that community.  It creates a financial drain that costs many times more than any perceived benefits.

"Taos is recognized rationally as a quality tourist destination center. We enjoy this distinction due to the excellent quality of our art, the quaint architecture of our community, the ambience of the surrounding mountains, and the rich cultural beauty of our historic places."
Office of the Mayor
Mayor Fred Peralta

 The following are studies statistics about the effects that gambling has had on communities around the country. Don't let this happen to Taos!

  • Crime Caused by Gambling
  • Economic Impacts
    And there are NO beneficial economic impacts for a community!!!
  • Impacts on our Youth
    And if you thought about the negative economic impacts, our youth hecome very vulnerable to the gambling addiction.

    Stop the Casino Project
    From the WeckTech site:
    Taos Pueblo Enterprises (TPE) has proposed to purchase the Kachina Lodge near the center of the Town of Taos, New Mexico, for the purpose of annexing the property and converting part of the lodge into a casino. Taos Pueblo currently operates the Taos Mountain Casino on Pueblo lands outside of town. Allegations have been raised that the real purpose of this project is to demolish the Kachina as part of a plan to establish a four-story luxury casino/resort complex in a part of town surrounded by residential areas, museums, art galleries, bed-and-breakfast establishments, and other local businesses. Serious questions have also been raised regarding the flow of money through TPE, and concern expressed by Pueblo residents over the fact that only $1,000 of the potential millions of existing casino revenues have been earmarked for education.
    In a letter, Taos Pueblo Governor Ruben Romero wrote, "We simply cannot pay the full $168,850.88 due to the State because we do not have the money. After paying you the enclosed $4,516.31, our bank balance is zero."
    The Pueblo cited its geographic location, increased costs associated with operating the casino and a tribal land payment as reasons for the partial payment. Are we the citizens of Taos going to cover these costs?

     These hidden costs are all passed onto the local governments who it turn need to collect from the residents who have already sustained severe financial problems due to the rise in unemployment, businesses folding, increased crime as well as the devaluation of property.

     One very important fact is that TCE will not be gambling on this venture.  Its entire purpose is to make money, without regard to the social, economic, political, legal, or moral consequences of this venture.

    64 Fed. Reg. 25,059 (10 May 1999).
    The Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs has certified that Resolution No. 99-04, enacting the Liquor Ordinance of the Pueblo of Taos was duly adopted by the Pueblo of Taos on February 25, 1999.
    The Ordinance provides for the regulation of the activities of the regulation [sic], manufacture, distribution, possession, sale, and consumption of liquor on the Pueblo of Taos lands under the jurisdiction of the Pueblo of Taos, the provisions for criminal jurisdiction to be exercised in accordance with applicable federal case law, statutes, and regulations.
    This Ordinance, which is published in the Federal Register, is effective 10 May 1999.
    For additional information, contact
    Jim James
    Office of Tribal Services
    Division of Tribal Government Services
    at 202.208.4400.

    People to Contact

    Legal No. 5039 Department of Interior
    Bureau of Indian Affairs
    Albuquerque Area Office
    Albuquerque, NM
    Notice of Availability
    The public is welcome to review and comment on a Finding of No Significant impact (FONSI)for the approval by the Bureau of Indian Affairs of
    1) a lease between Taos Pueblo and Taos Pueblo Enterprise,
    the Pueblo's business entity, to operate, renovate and
    improve the Best Western Kachina Lodge,
    413 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NIVI; and

    2) a leasehold mortgage between Taos Pueblo Enterprises and
    Palm Desert National Bank, Palm Desert, CA

    2) a leasehold mortgage between Taos Pueblo Enterprises and
    Palm Desert National Bank, Palm Desert, CA
    to secure a loan toward the purchase of that hotel.
    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as amended, requires that federal actions be assessed for their impacts on the quality of the human and natural environments. The federal actions are the decision whether or not to approve the lease and the decision whether or not to approve the leasehold mortgage.
    Written comments will be received until the close of business on August 11, 1999, at the following office:

    Mr. Rob Baracker, Director
    Albuquerque Area Office
    Bureau of Indian Affairs
    P.O. Box 26567
    Albuquerque, NM 87125-6567
    Branch of Real Estate Services
    615 First St. NW
    You can phone or fax them, too:
    P: 505/346-7590
    F: 505/346-7517
    E-mails can be sent to:
    Also: E-mail Mrs. Ellen Engstedt, the Regional Director of the BIA.
    The FONSI is available for review at
    1) Albuquerque Area Office;
    2) Bureau of Indian Affairs, Northern Pueblos Agency,
    Old Kennedy School, San Juan Pueblo, NM
    (P.O. Box 4269, Fairview Station, Espanola, NM 87533)
    3) Taos Pueblo Realty Office, Taos Pueblo, NM;
    4) The Town of Taos Public Library, Reference Desk,
    402 Camino de la Placita, Taos, NM
    (Legal No. 5039; Pub. July 29, 1999)

    Write the Newspapers!
    Contact the The Taos News
    Contact the The Albuquerque Journal
    Contact our local monthly: Geronimo

    Also, print this out and give to as many people in town as you can think of, including the following:
    Governor Gary Johnson
    Mayor Fred Peralta
    Gus Cordova
    Mayor and Managers Office 751-2006
    District Attorney John Paternoster: 758-8683
    Judge Peggy Nelson: 758-4547
    Police Chief Neil Curran
    Crime Prevention (Police) 758-2216
    County Manager: 751-8500
    Taos Mental Health Clinic
    Crime Stoppers Commission: 758-8188
    Rape Crisis Center: 758-9888
    Healthier Communities (Taos County): 751-1542
    Sheriff: 751-8655
    E-mail this to as many people as you know!

    Contact John McLoughlin for more information about the casino on Taos.
    Thanks, John, for the information about the Taos Casino Enterprises, the legal information and the assessment.

    Information about the casino in Taos from the Bureau of Indian Affairs:

    P.O. Box 1846
    Taos, New Mexico 87571
    (505) 758-9593
    Compact approved 3/15/95; published 3/22/95
    SUPERSEDED by Compact approved 8/23/97; published 8/29/97
    Any or all forms of casino-style gaming, including but not limited to slot machines and other forms of electronic gaming devices; all forms of poker, blackjack & other casino-style card games, both banked & unbanked; roulette, craps; keno; wheel of fortune; pai-gow; & other games place in casino settings; & any form of lottery.
    Tom Teegarden
    Taos Pueblo Enterprises
    P.O. Box 1154
    Taos, New Mexico 87571

    The entity that provided the environmental assessment currently available for review at the library is:
    Leedshill - Herkenhoff
    500 Copper NW, Suite 500
    Albuquerque, NM 87102

    There is a plethora of information available in print and on the Internet regarding gambling. This could be considered an indication of the enormous impact that gambling has had across our country. Even the most ardent supporter of legalized gambling will be affected by the sheer volume of evidence and testimony that is presented here.  The following are some starting points.

    Gambling in Oregon - The Governor's Position


    The National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

    The National Council on Problem Gambling

    What is the public's opinion about America's newest pastime - legalized gambling?

    Gambling addicts risk money, jobs, families...

    Senator Simon's Report: The Explosive Growth of Gambling in the United States

    Gambler's Anonymous

    Resources in Print

    Tools you can use to respond

    Other Sources

    žCasinos in Florida: An Analysis of the Economic & Social Impacts
    The Executive Office of the Governor
    Office of Planning & Budgeting, The Capital
    Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0001

    žThe Economics of Native American Gaming in WisconsinÓ
    Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
    3107 North Shepard Avenue
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211

    žThe Economic Impacts of Legalized Gambling ActivitiesÓ
    Drake Law Review, Volume 43, pages 51-95
    Dr. John Warren Kindt
    Department of Business Administration,
    University of Illinois
    350 Commerce West
    Champaign, Illinois 61820

    žGambling as Economic Policy: Enumerating Why Losses Exceed GainsÓ
    Illinois Business Review, Spring 1995, pages 6-12
    Dr. Earl L. Grinols
    Department of Economics, University of Illinois
    1206 South 6th Street
    Champaign, Illinois 61820

    žBluff or Winning Hand? Riverboat Gambling and Regional Employment and UnemploymentÓ
    Illinois Business Review, Spring 1994, pages 8-11
    Dr. Earl Grinols (same address as above)
    Legalized Gambling As A Strategy For Economic Development
    Dr. Robert Goodman
    United States Gambling Study
    245 Main Street
    Northampton, Massachusetts 01060
    (413) 584-0855

    žProblem Gamblers and White Collar CrimeÓ
    Dr. Durand F. Jacobs and Dr. Jerry L. Pettis
    Paper presented at the Seventh International Conference on Gambling and Risk Taking

    Institute for the Study of Gambling, University of Nevada
    Reno, Nevada 89501
    National Coalition Against Gambling
    Information Center at , 800-664-2680.

    Now that you have the names and addresses of folks to contact about the Kasino, check out the other major threat to our way of life here:Wal-Mart SS
    Thank you!
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