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Tribes A Billion Dollar Asset to Idaho

Casino entrance
Coeur d'Alene Casino

A new study says the five tribes of Idaho play a major role in the state’s economy. The study was put together by University of Idaho research economist Steve Peterson. It says the five tribes have a $1.1 billion annual sales impact on the gem state’s economy.

The five tribes collectively raise the gross state product by $653 million, or about one percent of the gross state product in 2013. Steve Peterson says a big portion of the money comes from tribal casinos, which have also helped to foster partnerships with local businesses and governments.

Peterson: “It’s helped give them a sense of independence, foster a sense of entrepreneurship, helped the tribes realize they can shape their own future and their destiny.”

The study found that more than half million people visit tribal casinos in Idaho per year, and 60 percent of those visitors are from out of state, adding new money to the state’s economy.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.
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