HUDSON, Wis., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Sixty three percent of Hudson
residents say they oppose a proposal to create an off-reservation Indian
casino at St. Croix Meadows Greyhound Racing Track, in Hudson, Wis., according
to a survey released today. Of those residents who oppose the casino, 60
percent believe it would negatively impact the quality of life in Hudson.
The survey of Hudson residents was conducted Sunday, Aug. 27, just four
days prior to the end of the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) public
comment period. The casino is being proposed by three Indian tribes and a
Florida businessman who currently owns the dog track. DOI rejected the same
proposal in 1995, but it recently agreed in a settlement of a lawsuit brought
by the three tribes to reconsider their application and the Department's
According to the survey, 33 percent of those who oppose the casino cite an
increase to crime and pollution from noise and lights as reasons for their
opposition. Other top reasons for Hudson residents' opposition to the casino
include: its proximity to a local YMCA camp and proposed school sites
(11 percent), an increase in traffic the casino may cause (7 percent) and an
objection to gambling (15 percent). Nearly 19 percent say they oppose the
casino for all the reasons listed in the survey.
Nearly 47 percent of Hudson residents feel more research needs to be done
regarding the casino's potential impact on the environment. The current
proposal relies on an environmental assessment from 1988.
Overall, 83 percent of Hudson residents feel the casino is a divisive and
The Prairie Island Indian Community commissioned the survey. The tribe
opposes the casino because of its proximity to Prairie Island and the likely
negative impact on the tribe's gaming operation. The tribe also is concerned
about setting a dangerous precedent for off-reservation gambling near major
metropolitan areas that could lead to an expansion of non-Indian and Indian
"A Hudson casino would make people's decision to gamble easier than ever
before and their decision on where to gamble easier yet," said John Knapp, an
attorney representing the tribe. "There have already been rumblings that if
the Hudson casino is allowed to proceed, it will add credence to some
Minnesota legislators' arguments for a state-operated casino in the Twin
Cities. It could lead to casinos in Wisconsin and Minnesota becoming as
available to people as lottery tickets. This casino is not what Congress had
in mind when it passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act."
Prairie Island is suing the DOI for not following federal law by
consulting with nearby tribes and local communities about the impact that the
new casino would have on them.
A representative sample of 300 residents from Hudson, Wis. participated in
the survey conducted by SWR Worldwide. SWR Worldwide is a nationally
recognized full-service opinion and market research firm based in Washington,
D.C. The participants were contacted via telephone; the results have a margin
of error of +/- 5.7.
The 550-member Prairie Island Indian Community is a federally recognized
Indian Nation, located 60 minutes southeast of the Twin Cities along the
Mississippi River. The Community owns and operates Treasure Island Resort &
SOURCE Prairie Island Indian Community