A national survey released last week by New Jersey’s Fairleigh Dickinson University found that Americans are split on whether Native American tribes should be allowed to buy land for tribal casinos.
The “go ahead and buy and build” idea was supported by 48 percent of those polled, while 42 percent disagreed. The “go ahead” side was supported most by non-whites (57-37), those age 18-29 (57-37), Democrats (53-38), independents (52-38), those age 30-44 (51-37), and women (50-39).
Those most opposed are Republicans (50-40 against) and those age 60-plus (50-39 against).
Overall, 61 percent had not heard about this issue, which is up for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case of Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community was argued before the high court in December. A written decision is expected soon.
“This case has huge significance for the gaming industry across the United States,” said Donald Hoover, a professor in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “The question was how wide open the door will be to new Native American investment in lands and casinos off their well-defined reservations. The court may throw the doors wide open, or slam it shut.”
The national survey was conducted by phone using a randomly selected sample of 883 registered voters.