Despite its relatively small size, the far-reaching impacts of a remote gambling operation can have a negative impact on a nearby community. In recent years, California voters have decided to overturn a compact signed by a tribe with the Northfork Mono Indians that would have permitted the tribe to build a casino 40 miles away from its reservation. The tribe had opposed the compact because it would have displaced jobs in a nearby town and damaged the area’s fragile ecosystems. The tribes that live near the site of the proposed gambling facility supported the campaign against the casino, but the voters rejected it.
Although gambling companies are not directly affected by these regulations, the financial impact is huge. UK gambling revenue has fallen to its lowest level in eight years, and shares in the country’s largest operators are also suffering. Some companies are already looking at the ramifications of the new laws. William Hill, a remote and land-based operator, is among those companies who are taking stock of the potential impacts on their businesses. It generates about 53% of its revenue from its sportsbook.
In addition to the environmental impact, the casino’s presence in the Nemasket River area would threaten herring populations, which are important to the community’s economy. Native American philosophy also opposes the idea of a casino, and the Mashpee tribe has not yet made an official statement. Mass Audubon and Casino Free Massachusetts have been voicing their concerns about the project for years. The Audubon Society also opposed the project, citing the comments of a Native American spiritual leader who appeared at a Bureau of Indian Affairs hearing in Middleboro.