Legends Casino Impacting Yakima Valley Economy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Legends Casino Impacting Yakima Valley Economy

TOPPENISH, Wash - Legends Casino is one of the largest employers in the area, and they generate a lot revenue.  They're just one of many tribal businesses in Washington providing jobs and millions of dollars to the economy.

Legends has to pay taxes, of course, and it's 600 employees.  General Manager Michael Hoptowit says, "It's allowed many people to actually have a career track in gaming, whether they stay here or move on, they have those newly-acquired skills."

Hoptowit says the casino has also made an agreement to contribute some of its money to local fire and police departments.  They also give to non-profit organizations. "That's been a very big impact in our area, as far as people being able to keep a program open." Hoptowit adds.

Legends Casino has been operating for eight years now, and it takes a lot of other local businesses to keep it running.  Hoptowit says most of the food vendors are local.

Legends provides jobs for both tribal members and non-members.  And if a proposed expansion becomes a reality, even more jobs will follow. "A couple hundred at least." says Hoptowit.  "We may offer more gaming, which would require more bodies. We may offer more food venues, which would require more bodies."