American Indians getting the BIG $$ via casinos

I read the other day that last year American Indian casinos raked in twenty-five-billion dollars, well surpassing the dough Las Vegas casinos took in.

Many tribes, however, are not involved in the gaming industry due to being located in places that are too out of the way, and because of philosophical reasons of not wanting to participate in something so alien to their cultures. These nations that are not involved with casinos are, for the most part, in very serious trouble with rampant poverty and the associated problems with it, i.e., alcoholism, crime, etc. And that’s sad. :frowning:

But honestly, don’t you just love it that there are tribes that are able to get some much needed BIG money that allows them to experience prosperity and cause them to (finally!!) have hope for their children’s future? :slight_smile: They’ve been through sooo much godawful stuff that’s it’s not even funny! :mad: And so I say it’s about time that something really good is finally happening with them!! :slight_smile:

It’s nice that people like Steve Wynn and other casino owners and developers have done so well for themselves (while providing many jobs in the process), but it seems especially nice that some of our American Indian brothers and sisters are “finally” getting a sweet slice of the American Dream, too, yes? :cool:

Native American’s getting an income is a good thing, but not sure all the baggage that comes with casino’s are worth it.

I’d be happy to carry the burden if any of 'em wanna give it to me. :smiley:

Seriously, the money is a good thing for them as long as they’re smart with how they manage it. Yup; that I do believe. :cool:

I visited Foxwood in Connecticut some years ago and was totally blown by the size of it.

The cleanliness, the $15 all you can eat buffet, the friendliness of everyone was amazing.

The free drinks went down well also

I’m all for it. It provides income, jobs, work experience and the like for the tribes, and it all comes from the voluntary contributions of the people whose ancestors exploited the same tribes. Works for me. Casino Morongo has a killer buffett, too.

Absolutely! :smiley: I :cool: think :confused: that casinos :dubious: are a great idea. :stuck_out_tongue: They :o also :eek: can sell tax-free cigarettes and beer :mad: which brings more :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: customers and :wink: more income :smack:
Also, :smiley: I like that they dont :stuck_out_tongue: :mad: :slight_smile: :cool: :wink: :rolleyes: have to follow the silly :eek: :confused: :dubious: city ordinances :dubious: like :smiley: closing the bar at 3am. :frowning: :mad: So the Indian clubs can stay open 24/7. :cool: :slight_smile: :wink:


There’s a reservation near where Papa Tigs grew up that was always the epitome of poverty – trash, junk, just awful conditions. They’ve since put in a casino, and a few years ago we were visiting his area and drove across the reservation. He had warned me in advance that it would be truly awful, but he was instead completely stunned – not a speck of litter or junk in sight anywhere, all the shacks replaced with nice homes, decent vehicles instead of junk cars, and big new schools from elementary through high school. The tribe is sending students to college and truly improving the lives of all its members.

So I’m all for it, too.

I’m no expert on the subject but my understanding is that very little casino money ends up in the hands of actual Native Americans. Most of the casinos are being run from behind the scenes by organized crime who pocket most of the profits. They will have a small group of Native Americans who will act as the front men, sign the paperwork, stonewall the government and police, keep the rest of the tribe in line, and presumedly take the fall if it comes to that.

I have a question. How do these casinos start? Do a bunch of members of the tribe pool their money or do they have outside investment or what exactly?

Little Nemo, that’s would be true only if you consider Harrah’s or the Mandalay Bay Group to be “organized crime.” The Mob hasn’t been involved in this kind of thing for years. The controls are too tight these days. Sure, if you dig deep enough there is Mob money somewhere, but that’s true of just about any big business. Strict accounting must be observed, with the money going primarily to the tribes involved and the state they are in, by way of gaming taxes.

pool, it varies by tribe. Some get investors on board and build independent of the big gaming concerns. I believe the Palm Springs band did it this way. All the funding and development was internal, so the tribe retains complete control. Others, like several in northern San Diego county, were developed by Harrah’s in conjunction with the tribes. In effect, the tribe offered their land to Harrah’s for development in exchange for “considerations.”


I was living in Mississippi when the casinos came in deluge in the 90’s, and photographed some for an article on it. Got an interesting behind the scenes peek at it, and was amazed at how thorough the casino industry is in what used to be regarded in cheap carnivals as “getting the marks”. It’s all very carefully scoped out to get people to drop money, to get them in a mindset to feel like a winner and keep spending, at bad realistic odds. This was at Harrah’s and other Las Vegas outposts then in the easy “Hey, no rules for Y’all Glad to Have Ya” Missisissippi of the time.

So, in regards to Tribal casinos, at first I think, well, twas greed that decimated Native Americans, so good on 'em for turning that same voraciousness around and cashing in on that. Push and push and push people into shitty and shittier land, where you can’t live like you always have… but now, a new cash crop of greedy people, doesn’t matter how the land is .

But, I don’t know how that life really is at the heart of the community. Immediately, money, and I hope it’s used at the utmost for enriching people who have a last chance in keeping all together in their tribe. It is a sadly amusing image : people who were killed by armed force and disease by invaders : now dealing random cards and shiny machines with promise of The Big Payoff to the descendants. Yeah, go for it. But, still, a pretty sad way of life.

Nenno I want to thank you for one of the best laughs I’ve had courtesy of the SDMB.

I’m for Native Americans making good any way they can, but I’m kinda with you here. Gambling doesn’t strike me as a good business to invest in long-term, so I hope they’re socking that money away. The way gambling laws are getting liberalized all over the place little by little, I can see every town in the country having its own casino in 100 years. With all the competition the amount of money in it at any given location will plummet.
Personally, I think gambling is a ridiculous waste of money, but I find I’m in a small minority on that score.

One summer so long ago that nobody knows how long, the Oceti-Shakowin, the seven sacred coucil fires of the Lakota Oyate, the nation, came together and camped. The sun shone all the time, but there was no game and the people were starving. Every day they sent scouts to look for game, but the scouts found nothing.

Among the bands assembled were the Itazipcho, the Without-Bows, who had their own camp circle under their chief, Standing Hollow Horn. Early one morning the chief sent two of his young men to hunt for game. They went on foot, because at that time the Sioux didn’t yet have horses. They searched everywhere but could find nothing. Seeing a high hill, they decided to climb it in order to look over the whole country.

“This looks like a good place for a casino,” said Standing Hollow Horn, so they built one and got rich and were never hungry again.

As I said, I’m no expert. But my understanding is that the controls over regular casinos are the reason that organized crime has pushed for the growth of NA casinos. The semi-sovereignty of NA land makes it difficult for the government to monitor the management of these casinos.

Foxwoods Resort Casino in rural Connecticut is the largest single casino on the planet.

Yes, rural Connecticut. They are exactly 100 miles from Boston, and 100 miles from New York. HUGE name stars frequent the place because it is so cool. They have a Hard Rock Cafe, an MGM Grand and a plethora of other amenities.

Personally, I figure we f*cked them so hard for so long and nearly annihilated them as a race, they deserve some money…

Ok snarky hat off -

They are in my backyard with the largest casino on the planet. To be honest, I don’t even know they are there. The place is amazingly clean, they pay taxes, they have programs ot help the tribal people and are sort of well liked in the area.

The sort of part comes in when their kids who did no work for the tribe get a 30k stipend a month…then at 18 they get all the money that has acrued.

Yes 30k.

The mashantucket people who started the casino got 100 million from an investor in Malaysia - they paid it off in less than 1 year. The casino grew exponetially for the next 10 years…

Organized crime doesn’t run casinos any more. They used to back when casinos were–get this–illegal. When Vegas first started opening up legal gambling, mobsters did start several casinos there. But with gambling being legal, legitimate businesses have a huge advantage over organized crime. Or, to put it another way, what advantage would mobsters have in running a legal casino? They have no more competitive advantage running a legal casino than they would running a grocery store.

If the business is illegal or quasi-legal, then mobsters have an advantage. They can rob the customers, and the customers don’t dare complain to the cops. But not if the business is legal.

Other businesses like vending machines and other cash-only businesses often have mob ownership, but not because they are lucrative businesses, but because they are money-laundering businesses. The businesses actually lose money, but declare huge profits in cash. Of course, that cash really comes from drugs or whatever, but the cash business allows the mobsters to declare that income to the IRS and turn it into real money–electronic money. You can do a lot of things with a wad of cash, but you can do a lot more nowadays with electronic money. Try buying a house with a stack of $100 bills. Or stocks, or whatever.

Foxwoods Resort Casino in rural Connecticut is the largest single casino on the planet.

Yes 30k.

Not that money means that much to me, but I wonder if maybe I got a little Red blood in me? :stuck_out_tongue:

I would take issue with this-a casino could be "owned’ by a front company, which is itself owned by the Mob. casinos handle a TON of cash-and skimming (keeping unreported income) is a great option for a Mob-owned establishment. In addition, Mob-owned places can get away with crooked unions "representing’ the hired help-another opportunity to skim cash. i agree, las Vegas is different now, from the days of Bugsey Siegel and the mafia-but i would not be surprised if there are lots of front companies that own these places.