The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians wants to help small businesses struggling during pandemic shutdown. 50 small businesses within the San Manuel ancestral territory will receive $20k as a result.

Casino Philanthropy

The tribal owners of the San Manuel Casino in Highland, California, are giving back to the community in a huge way. During a time when the tribal community has been devastated by COVID-19 lockdowns, the tribe is handing out 50 checks for $20,000 each.

The act of kindness is part of the tribe’s San Manuel Cares Small Business Relief Fund.

The chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Ken Ramirez, surprised 50 small business with the relief money. The businesses were deemed non-essential and forced to close by order of the state.

These establishments include restaurants, diners, personal care services, and more. In a speech where he handed out three of the checks, Chairman Ken Ramirez explained his generosity.

“We all look forward to the day when you can fully reopen your doors for good and welcome your customers back,” Ramirez said. “Until then, you have a hand up from San Manuel to cover expenses and keep your employees on the payroll.”

Three local business collected the checks in person while the remainder of the 50 recipients participated via live stream.

As the tribal casino profits, leaders share the wealth with the community. According to the San Manuel Indians, charitable acts are part of its cultural heritage. Giving is part of what they call ‘Yawa’, meaning ‘to act on one’s beliefs.’

Casino Expansion

The San Manuel Casino benefits from its proximity to downtown Los Angeles. Located 60 miles east of LA, it is the closest casino with slots and table games in the region, offering 5,000 slot machines and 130 table games.

The tribe announced a $550 million expansion of its casino into a full gaming resort destination. The new tribal gaming resort will have a 3,000-seat concert venue, spa, new restaurants, and a 450-room hotel.

As the tribal casino expands, the tribe shares the wealth with the community. Last December, the tribe committed $14 million to Claremont Graduate University. The proceeds will launch a new research facility at the school called the Yuhaaviatam Center for Health Studies.

One year ago, the tribe gave $9 million to the UNLV hospitality and law schools toward education programs on tribal law and gaming operations.


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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.