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The Facts About Indian Gaming

A collection of essential information on Indian gaming:

Indian gaming—general
Indian Gaming Facts
Gaming:  Numbers Show the Real Picture  (overview)
Contreras:  Indian Gaming Works
Answers to Common Questions About Tribal Government Gaming
Indian Gaming:  Fiction and Fact
Tribes Look to Debunk Gaming Myths
Information on Indian Gaming  (resources)

Indian gaming—California
California Tribal Casinos:  Questions and Answers
California Tribal Gaming—Separating Fact from Fiction
Long Road Traveled  (history through Prop. 1A)
Passing California's Proposition 5—Indian Gaming Initiative
California Imaging:  Framing the Indian
Indian Gaming In California  (legal definitions and issues)

Indian gaming—regulation
Tribal Government Gaming Regulation
Viejas Gaming Regulation  (a typical tribal regulatory structure)
Debunking the Myth of Unregulated Indian Gaming
IGRA's intent:  "Indian gaming was to be regulated. No more unregulated casinos"

Indian gaming—"reservation shopping"
The Threat of Reservation Shopping:  Anti-gambling activists use it to scare small children
Land Into Trust Is This Year's Hot Issue
Exceptions to IGRA More Common Than Often Cited

Indian gaming—Abramoff scandal
The Political Environment for Tribal Issues, Post-Abramoff Scandal
Melanie Benjamin:  It's a Lobbying Scandal, America, Not an 'Indian' One
A Note to American Journalists:  More Balance, Please!
Abramoff Reporting Exposes Anti-Native American Media Bias
Talking Point:  Blame the Indians for Abramoff
Viewpoint:  Don't Punish Tribes for Abramoff
Blaming the Victim:  Turning a Blind Eye to Reality
Tonto's Revenge

Indian gaming—disenrollment
Native American? The Tribe Says No
Wilkins: Self-Determination or Self-Decimation?

Indian gaming—taxation
No Indian tribe or individual is getting rich from casinos tax-free:

Since individuals pay taxes, the federal government taxes any gaming funds not being used directly for tribal government programs.

"Taxation of Tribal Government Gaming," Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians

Indian gaming—popular support
Majority of Americans Support Indian Gaming According to National Poll
National Survey Shows American Public Supports Indian Gaming

Hard evidence that Indian gaming works
A glimpse at the mountain of evidence that Indian gaming is helping Indian tribes—as Congress intended when it passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988.

Study shows impact of gaming in Indian Country
Monday, January 10, 2005

Economic and social conditions in Indian Country improved substantially over the past decade, according to a Harvard University study released last week, with progress by gaming tribes outpacing non-gaming tribes.

Using 10 years of U.S. Census Bureau data, researchers at the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development discovered gains in income, education, housing and other indicators. In every category, conditions improved greatly for American Indians living on reservations from 1990 to 2000, the report said.

With financial backing from the National Indian Gaming Association, the authors of the study compared progress among members of tribes with and without casinos. The aim was to show the impacts of gaming on tribal lands.

"The results are remarkable," researchers wrote in American Indians on Reservations: A Databook of Socioeconomic Change Between the 1990 and 2000 Censuses, released last Wednesday. "In all but two categories, Census-measured socioeconomic improvement is greater for gaming reservations than for non-gaming reservations."

In some categories, progress among gaming tribes was far greater than among non-gaming tribes. For example, per capita income rose by 36 percent for members of tribes with casinos versus 21 percent for members of tribes without casinos. Median household income among gaming tribes rose by 35 percent compared to just 14 percent among non-gaming tribes.

In other areas, the difference wasn't as notable but was still apparent. Family poverty, child poverty and deep poverty rates, for example, dropped for gaming and non-gaming tribes alike but gaming tribes saw slightly better improvement.

Data for two categories — public assistance and homes without complete kitchens — showed that conditions on reservations without gaming worsened slightly from 1990 to 2000. But gaming tribes saw progress in these areas, according to the report.

And non-gaming tribes beat out gaming tribes based on two indicators — overcrowding and homes lacking complete plumbing. Non-gaming tribes made larger gains in these two areas, the data showed.

The authors of the report acknowledged the benefits of gaming in Indian Country. But they pointed out that the real reason for progress was self-determination.

According to the report, "self-rule brings decision making home, and local decision makers are held more accountable to local needs, conditions, and cultures than outsiders."

Jackie Johnson, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, agreed with the assessment. "The data reflects that when tribes are truly empowered to govern, our communities grow," she said. "There has been a ripple of positive change in tribal communities, as tribes make their own sound decisions on what is best for their citizens."

The report also noted that Indians living on reservations are still worse off than the rest of the nation. "Despite these positive changes, average income in Indian Country is less than half the overall U.S. average," said co-author Jonathan Taylor, a research fellow. "American Indians still have a long way to go to address the accumulation of long-enduring socioeconomic deficits."

"The report details how far we have come in a 10 year period but it is also a stark reminder of how far we still have to go to overcome the hundreds of years of poverty we have and continue to endure," added Ernie Stevens Jr., chairman of NIGA.

The report excludes Alaska Natives from the discussion of social and economic conditions. There are more than 200 federally-recognized tribes in the state but few are able to offer gaming due to legal limits on their sovereignty.

The report also takes special note of Oklahoma due to the way the Census Bureau collects data for "Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Areas," which cover nearly all of the state and reflect social and economic change for non-Indians as well as Indians. The data is presented with and without OTSAs in the report.

Similarly, data is presented with and without the Navajo Nation because the tribe is the largest in the county and did not operate gaming facilities during the 1990s.

Funding for the study came in part from NIGA but the organization, which represents more than 150 tribes, did not have control over the contents.

This study reiterates points made by Indian gaming leaders. Namely, that gaming is no get-rich-quick scheme. That not all tribes are finding prosperity through gaming. That more work needs to be done.

In short, that Indian gaming is no panacea. Keep this in mind when you read anti-gaming propaganda about how Indians are so greedy and powerful.

From The New London Day, 10/26/03:

ERNEST L. STEVENS: Everyone Wins With Indian Gambling

Indian gaming has been a success for the federal and state governments. Annually, Indian gaming increases federal government revenue by over $4.5 billion and reduces unemployment and welfare benefits by $1 billion. Indian gaming generates more than $1.5 billion in state payroll, income, and sales taxes, fees and revenue sharing last year.

Indian gaming creates more than 300,000 jobs directly and a total of 500,000 jobs, directly and indirectly nationwide, 75 percent held by our non-Indian neighbors. In the areas of highest Indian unemployment (sometimes 60 percent) 75 percent of the jobs are held by Indians as in North and South Dakota, where Indian gaming has created more than 5,000 jobs. Many of our tribes, like the Mashantucket Pequot, the Mohegan, the Oneida Nation, and the Elk Valley Rancheria created jobs in once prosperous areas that were devastated by the decline of major industries like fisheries, manufacturing and military industry.

It is important to know that tribes use gaming revenues to develop governmental infrastructure: schools, health clinics, water and sewer systems, roads, and other services. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota has built two schools. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation recently opened a cultural and educational facility, which is connected to its Child Development Center. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma built a new hospital. The Gila River Tribe in Arizona opened a new dialysis center to combat the highest rate of diabetes in the world and the Ak-Chin Indian Community is building new reservation housing.

Through gaming, tribes are finally beginning to diversify our economies, creating more job opportunity, and generating additional revenues for building governmental infrastructure. In California, the San Manuel Band built a bottled water plant. The Tulalip Tribe in Washington operates a shopping center, anchored by a Wal-Mart. The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is manufacturing greeting cards.

Most Indian casinos don't enjoy a semi-monopoly in a location near wealthy urbanites. In other words, most aren't Foxwoods Resort Casino or Mohegan Sun. The following is more indicative of how gaming is helping impoverished reservations. From the Albuquerque Journal:

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Gaming Tribes Cash In: Profits To Boost Education, Improve Quality of Life

By Mike Gallagher
Journal Investigative Reporter

A visitor to a pueblo ceremonial dance 32 years ago would have found communal water spigots, dilapidated buildings and outhouses.

Tourists sometimes called it "quaint."

"Quaint" might be picturesque but it doesn't supply clean water for children to drink. The correct word was "poverty."

Three decades ago, most New Mexico pueblos relied on natural resource leases, federal money and tourist dollars spent at seasonal ceremonial dances.

Per-capita incomes were among the lowest in the United States. Unemployment rates in some cases approached 70 percent.

Thanks to gambling, that landscape is changing.

The millions of dollars flowing through tribal casinos are building sewer and water systems, new schools, medical clinics and new homes for New Mexico's gaming tribes.

New Mexico Indian Gaming Association chairman Charlie Dorame said his pueblo, Tesuque, has spent more than $20 million in casino profits in the last few years on infrastructure.

"That's more money than we received from the federal government since 1976," he said.

Gov. Leonard Armijo of Santa Ana Pueblo said the infrastructure spending is essential.

"You can't have economic development without a modern water system," he said. "You can't attract businesses without infrastructure."

From the Buffalo News, 7/15/06:

Focus: Seneca Allegany Casino
Casino brings prosperity back to Salamanca

Profits geared for growth; negatives are outweighed

One thing is indisputable: The casino has brought a prosperity unseen since the late 1800s and early 1900s, when Salamanca was a busy railroad hub and industrial center.

When it opened in May 2004, the casino brought nearly 1,000 new jobs to Cattaraugus County, about half the total number of jobs added over the previous 14 years. The new casino complex will employ 450 more workers, who are being hired now.

The Seneca Nation said the Allegany casino spent more than $14 million with local vendors and suppliers in its most recent fiscal year.

The casino generated $143.2 million in net revenue and $34.7 million in net income between September 2004 and 2005, according to nation filings with the federal government, and net gambling revenue for the six months ending March 31 was $69.9 million.

More than five million people have visited the casino, the nation says, with two-thirds coming from out of state, mostly Pennsylvania and Ohio.

From the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger:

July 18, 2006

Tunica's Transformation

# County goes from poverty to prosperity

In 1985, Tunica County was the most impoverished county in the United States. The Rev. Jesse Jackson visited the area to draw attention to the substandard housing conditions along an open sewer, nicknamed Sugar Ditch.

The economy began to change in 1992 when Splash Casino became the first casino to open in Tunica County, population 9,227. Within five years, the number of residents receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children and food stamps had shrunk by half. In 1992, one in five Tunica County residents received a welfare check. Ten years later, it was one in 100.

Splash, which is now closed, was the first Mississippi casino to open along the Mississippi River. The county now has nine casinos, Tunica National Golf Course, Tunica RiverPark museum, an interactive, interpretive center that showcases the history of the Mississippi River, Mississippi's largest indoor arena, and an airport, now undergoing a $40 million capital improvement program.

The county has gone from 20 hotel rooms to 6,320. Year-to-date gross gaming revenues for Mississippi River casinos, the majority of which are in Tunica County, are about $730 million. Tunica's 31-story Gold Strike Casino Resort is the state's tallest building.

From the Charleston Daily Mail, 8/9/07:

David Corcoran:  Legalized gambling does relieve poverty

Opponents argue that expansion of this industry will attract undesirable underworld elements, increase crime, hurt taxpayers more by upping law enforcement costs, is immoral, and will do nothing to bolster the hosting community.

I can't see these dire and negative outcomes after witnessing what the gaming industries have done and are doing for people in both New Mexico and Wisconsin.

Some 20 years ago when visiting my brother and his family in New Mexico's native American country, I saw much poverty on the reservations: dilapidated housing, a lack of community and senior services, little promotion of local tourist landmarks, and, in general, a downtrodden and aimless Indian population.

They greeted us with 19th century attitudes of "We hate you" and "You're not welcome here."

But time and progress change all things. About 10 years ago, the Acoma and Laguna tribes built casinos containing the full range of table games and slot machines on their reservations. This economic development strategy has made a dramatic impact.

In July, traveling through those areas, I couldn't help but notice that the houses were now being kept in good repair and painted, several new housing developments had been added, new town and community centers were in evidence, a state-of-the-art museum had been constructed, infrastructure enhancements shone, and the people had jobs and money in their pockets.

These once economically depressed peoples were now prospering due to the establishment of money-generating casinos.

Most significantly and in a dramatic, full circle change-around from two decades ago, the Native Americans I came into contact with were now very respectful and considerate of us non-Indian tourists, welcoming us with open arms not only to the casinos, but also to their museums, landmarks, pueblos, and, yes, even into their churches.

I saw the same type of progress among the Native Americans in Wisconsin over the same time span.

With areas of Kanawha County and West Virginia suffering from poverty, joblessness, and hopelessness similar to what I once saw in New Mexico and Wisconsin years ago, it's surprising that some West Virginians aren't more open-minded to the benefits the gaming industry can bring to economically struggling regions.

And contrary to the gaming industry's opponents, on these native American reservations, there's no evidence that the purported vices attached to casinos and gambling actually exist.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader, 9/1/07 (not an Indian casino, but useful as a case study):

Casinos bring mix of pluses and minuses; Metropolis, Ill., a case study for Ky.

The Herald-Leader's tour of a nearby city with a casino shows that gambling, like any industry, brings problems, and some residents still view Harrah's warily even after 15 years. But it is impossible to ignore economic benefits and effects a casino can have.

"If the casino left Metropolis, Metropolis would become a ghost town," said Dawn Teague, who grew up in the city and worked in Harrah's accounting department for five years before opening a Christian book and gift store downtown earlier this year.

"You would have so many people who would have to move away," she said.

Harrah's employs roughly 1,200 people, including those who work at the hotel adjacent to the casino. The establishment attracts 1.1 million visitors a year and generates $41 million for the state and $8.4 million for the city, according to the Illinois Casino Gaming Association.

Benefits to city

Metropolis' entire revenue structure has been turned upside down by the casino revenue, which replaced taxes on utilities.

Municipal buildings and roads are being rebuilt at a faster pace than officials thought possible. And the economy is stable, even if many of the town's other businesses aren't seeing much of an uptick in customers.

From the Seattle Times, 8/2/06:

Tulalip casino's impact "explosive"

By Lynn Thompson
Times Snohomish County Bureau

A study of Indian tribal economies in Washington state indicates tribes are investing casino income in new businesses and their own government services and, as a result, raising the economic prospects of their members and the surrounding communities.

The Tulalip Tribes' economy was one of four Indian economies profiled in the study by independent economist Jonathan Taylor for the Washington Indian Gaming Association.

The report, delivered last week to the 2006 Northwest Indian Gaming Conference in Tacoma, calculates that in 2004, tribal casinos and other Indian businesses generated more than $3.2 billion in revenue in the state and employed 13,146 people, about 4,000 of them Indians.

Locally, the Tulalips' 2005 taxable sales rose to $311 million, yielding $26 million in taxes for the state, the report says.

From the Durham Herald-Sun, 10/14/03:

Cherokee study: As poverty falls, psychiatric problems improve

DURHAM — The gambling casinos bringing money to North Carolina's Cherokee Indians created a unique "laboratory," Duke University Medical Center researchers said, leading them to publish a study today showing that psychiatric disorders in children improved as the number of families in poverty declined.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed a link between children's improved mental health and relief from the stresses of poverty when casino revenues were distributed among tribal families.

More hard evidence of the benefits of Indian gaming
National Indian Gaming Association Releases Report on the Economic Impact of Indian Gaming in 2005
Casino Jobs — a Good Deal?  Survey of county tribal employees shows diverse, growing, mostly happy work force
Indian Casino Income Goes to Schools, Health Care, Land, Jobs
Tribal Government Gaming in California Brings Jobs, Income, to Areas Most in Need of Development
Tough Times for Tiguas:  How a state and a court shut down a successful casino

The negative side of gaming?
Like any big subject, the effects of gaming are too complex to capture in any one analysis. Researchers can find almost any conclusion they want by choosing the definitions, conditions, and variables for their studies. About all one can say is that casinos have roughly the same effect as any business of a comparable size. Like similar businesses, the results are mixed.

An article titled "Influence of Casinos Debatable" in the Contra Costa Times, 10/24/04, presents an overview of the research and notes the conflicting conclusions:

[R]esearch abounds from Atlantic City to Palm Springs, with a range of results suggesting that much depends on the local community, the gambling market and who you ask.


Even using the same federal data, scholars can't seem to agree on a link between casinos and criminals.

Boost or bust?

Success stories abound, particularly in downtrodden backwaters that added casinos. Several communities found hotel industry growth, new construction and cash for local government, a study by the National Opinion Research Council found.

Problem gambling

Several studies suggest that about three percent of American adults are pathological or problem gamblers — about 1 million Californians.

Another study came to similar conclusions. From the Lowell Sun, 1/13/05:

Study finds casinos would have modest impact on state's economy

By JULIE MEHEGAN, Sun Statehouse Bureau

BOSTON The introduction of Las Vegas-style casinos to the Bay State would bring modest gains in jobs and home prices, lead to slightly higher bankruptcy rates and reported crimes, but would have "surprisingly little impact" on the economy and crime in Massachusetts overall, according to a study being released today.

"Compared to the sometimes overheated rhetoric around the issue, our results were flaming moderate on this," said Phineas Baxandall, assistant director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston and co-author of the study, titled "Betting on the Future: The Economic Impacts of Legalized Gambling."

Baxandall and his co-author, Dartmouth College economics professor Bruce Sacerdote, began their research after talking to policy-makers about the need for unbiased data on the effect casinos might have on the Massachusetts economy.

Gambling supporters have long argued that expanded gaming would be a financial windfall for the Bay State. As the economy nose-dived in recent years, the call grew louder for casinos and slot machines to help replenish the state's coffers.

But opponents say the social costs associated with excessive gambling and the financial burden on communities that host casinos would blunt any possible financial reward.

According to the results of the study, neither scenario is entirely accurate.

Researchers examined counties in the United States that have casinos and counties that do not, focusing on employment rates, home prices, bankruptcies, crime, revenue and spending.

Among the findings:

There was no significant difference in total government revenues and expenditures per capita in areas where casinos opened in the 1980s and 1990s compared to noncasino areas.

Per-capita spending and revenues declined slightly in areas with casinos, attributed to population increases.

While more total jobs were created in casino counties, the population in those counties also grew, resulting in little change in employment rates.

Median home prices in casino counties increased by about $6,000 over noncasino counties.

Personal bankruptcy rates in casino counties are about 10 percent higher (3.27 bankruptcies per 1,000 people) than in non-casino counties (2.98 per 1,000).

Total reported crimes increased slightly in casino counties, but only because of population increases. Overall crime rates actually declined.

"These results suggest that economic, fiscal or public safety factors are insufficient to either deny or invite casinos into Massachusetts," Baxandall and Sacerdote wrote, suggesting policy-makers consider "less quantitative factors" when debating casinos, such as whether they would alter the state's character.

Casino bills have been filed in every legislative session for at least a decade. Facing a lack of votes, a group of senators withdrew a proposal in 2003 that would have allowed two casinos and slot machines at the state's racetracks. The House rejected a similar proposal in 2002.

But lawmakers who support casino gambling continue their efforts. Several gambling bills are scheduled to be taken up in the session that began this month, including one that would allow two Indian casinos and slot machines at the tracks.

Massachusetts is one of only 14 states that does not allow either casinos or slot machines.

The pros and cons of another casino: the Prairie Band Casino and Resort north of Topeka, Kansas. From an article in the Wichita Eagle, 7/19/07:


• The Prairie Band Casino and Resort has created 1,200 jobs. It is the largest employer in Jackson County.

• Casino revenue has been used to improve tribal roads and provide health care.

• The tribe donates money to surrounding communities and school districts.


• Some north Topeka businessmen say the casino has hurt their business.

• Traffic on U.S. 75 has doubled.

• There's anecdotal evidence of gambling addiction, embezzlement and an increase in bad checks for utility payments.

More on the crime issue:

Article published — Mar 2, 2006

RP reports big drop in crime, cites tribe's funds
Graton Rancheria has put up $1.2 million for special enforcement unit since 2004

By Clark Mason

Rohnert Park police say they have managed to reverse a rising crime rate, thanks in part to extra officers being paid for by the Indian tribe planning a casino in town.

Crimes in a number of categories have dropped significantly in Rohnert Park since the special enforcement unit funded by the Graton Rancheria was formed in July 2004.

There has been a decrease in six of seven major crime categories in Rohnert Park, including burglaries, auto thefts and robberies.

The critics of Indian gaming—and why they're wrong
The leading critics of Indian gaming and why they're generally wrong—from the Stereotype of the Month contest and elsewhere on this site:

Time magazine

Responses to TIME's Attack on Indian Gaming

Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal's hatchet job on Indians

Arnold Schwarzenegger, former bodybuilder and actor

Schwarzenegger:  "[T]he big tribes...control the legislators"
Schwarzenegger:  Indians full of "greed," "ripping us off"
Schwarzenegger ad:  Gaming tribes should pay "fair share"
Schwarzenegger claims Indian tribes are "special interests"

And more....
Schmidt: Have gaming tribes bought California?
"It's not clear that there's anything especially problematic about the tribes deploying their gambling-derived funds in the political process."
Have gaming tribes bought California for $120 million?  No
Top 15 Reasons Why Indians Shouldn't Vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger
Schwarzenegger the girlie-man governor

Brett Fromson, author of Hitting the Jackpot, and other critics of the Mashantucket Pequots

Pequots are "opportunists," not Indians regaining culture
Fromson:  Indian casinos are a "hellish landscape of losers"
Pequots are about as Indian "as Camilla Parker Bowles"
Fromson:  Communities "prostitute" themselves for gaming
Fromson:  Tribes are "fronts"; casinos will be "everywhere"
Fromson:  "Sovereign rights" means "special interests"
Fromson:  Pequots' shared value is "a desire for money"
Jackpot book paints Pequots as fakes, money grabbers
Sioux Red Shirt says Eastern Indians aren't real Indians
Conn. editorial says "contrived tribes" seek recognition

Jeff Benedict, author of Without Reservation, and other critics of the Schaghticoke recognition decision

Benedict:  "[Indian] casinos are teaching people to kneel"
"Get ready for the paving over of the southern Berkshires!"
NY Times:  Most would-be tribes have emerged since 1988
"War drums," "ominous cloud" warn of "Indian massacre"
Even the East Hartford Moose Club could buy recognition
Benedict:  Schaghticoke, Eastern Pequot tribes are "bogus"
Courant:  "The state must stop this slot-machine tsunami"
Cartoon shows men in suits doing a rain dance for money

Steve Lopez, columnist, Los Angeles Times

Tribes "on the warpath to keep the posse away" from slots
Lopez:  "Pale-face" Davis chased campaign "wampum"
Lopez:  Bustamante would do rain dance for casino money
Columnist calls Indians' lawyer "Chief Running Mouth"
Lopez:  "Compacts are essentially a reparations program"
LA Times columnist says "Redskin" slur is unimportant

Bill Lynch, editor, Sonoma Index-Tribune

Calif. should oppose gaming by "allegedly abused" tribes
Gaming tribes are "shills" for their "corporate godfathers"
Lynch:  Indian tribes are "shills" for the gambling industry
"We are not responsible for the laws...of the distant past"
Indians will "say and do anything to get what they want"

Elaine Willman, chairwoman, Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA)

Folks find tribal government where they expected only casino
A tribe located anywhere could open a casino in Manhattan
Willman:  Tribes batter communities like an abusive spouse
Gaming tribes operate as monarchies and buy legislators

Marc Cooper, LA Weekly

"Greedy" tribal "bosses" disenroll members to increase "vig"
Cooper:  Calif. gaming tribes act like "rapacious" corporations
Milanovich called "Chief Greedovich," compared to Godfather
Schwarzenegger is "irresponsible" if he doesn't tax gaming

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.)

Wolf cries wolf about money laundering, political corruption
Wolf:  Defenders of gaming don't talk about the disparities
Wolf:  Widespread crime allegations cast cloud over gaming

Jan Golab, freelance writer

Indian gaming is the "nation's largest special-interest group"
Golab:  "Sovereignty is a concept...that no longer works"
Golab:  Sovereignty is a "concept, not a reality. It's hooey"

Rich Lowry, editor, The National Review

"Whiff of scam" from "fiction of sovereignty" taints gaming
Tribes = "all-American sleaze merchants and scam artists"

Fred Dickey, freelance writer, Los Angeles Times

Dickey:  Indian "gambling monopolies" are "reparations"

David Yeagley, conservative apologist

Yeagley the Indian apple

More on particular tribes
Are They Really a Tribe?  Who won the Pequot War?
The facts on the Schaghticokes' recognition

What the attacks on Indian gaming tell us
As I often say, an Indian casino-hotel seems no better or worse than any other big business—e.g., a Wal-Mart. People often protest the incursion of Wal-Marts, but they never say things like, "Those greedy white people are destroying our way of life." Race is never an issue, even though 99% of American corporations are owned or run by whites.

Nor do people carry on about the white-run casinos, card clubs, racetracks, and lotteries in their midst. Only Indian-run businesses receive their scorn. Hence the suspicion that this enmity is driven by racism: the fear and hatred of anyone who's different.

The following articles are essential reading on the subject. Some excerpts:

One Reason Why Arnold Won

His Attack Ads Involving Indian Gaming, and Their Larger Context and Significance


Of course, it is hardly news when a political candidate -- such as Schwarzenegger, in this case -- dispenses with accuracy when going for his opponent's political jugular. However, what is news, I think, is the amazing transformation in the attitude of Californians towards the state's Indian population.

Only a few years ago, Californians were so taken with the idea of "fairness to Indians" that they decisively approved the initiative I mentioned above, allowing nearly unfettered Indian gaming. But now, thanks to the incredible success of tribal casinos, Indian tribes have been transformed in the public consciousness from victims of historical oppression into just another grasping, corrupting special interest group.

Indeed, if Schwarzenegger's decision as to what group to target is any test, Indian tribes may even have surpassed unions and corporate fat cats to become the very worst possible example of such a group.


Natives must educate America, or perish

Growing anti-Indian movements threaten to destroy many of the gains that Indian country has made

Updated: 5:28 p.m. ET Nov. 16, 2004

In America circa 2004 public metaphor is everything. One Nation and other groups that need someone to attack, joined to the politicians of various states, are now onto something: The power of the Indian image in the American mind can perhaps be damaged and reversed: From legitimate governments comprised of the first peoples and rightful property owners of this land, to greedy, special-interest casino kingpins. Say it and portray the seedy image enough times, it becomes the over-riding public metaphor, one that will last a long time. The antagonist idea is to denigrate Indian jurisdiction in the public mind, paint the American Indian as getting a free ride, as conniving and thievish, and you can get a measure passed against them!
While Indian enemies envision the complete deconstruction of Indian sovereign bases, the fight over Congress and by extension, over the hearts and minds of the American public, becomes paramount. Remember John Kerry's "flip-flop" image, how, true or not, it stuck. Again, that was just a tactic. The damage was done through a public relations strategy built on repeated innuendo. The same is happening to Indian issues. It is not fair and follows no logic but manipulates anger and intends to diminish any gains by Native tribes. Thus the push is on to portray the tribes as lobbying nightmares, enclaves of values-less societies rolling in ill-gained casino dollars. This is cultural preparation for the political kill. It's the swift-boat attack of the Indian issue polemic: Indians as "rip-offs," "cheats," corrupt lobbyists, as "special interests," as impediments to American unity. The only thing in the way is that pesky American Indian sovereignty and "properties" over which these phony governments exercise control.

In other words, look out, Indians. Mainstream America is still gunning for you.

More on the anti-Indian movement
Treaty Rights and Responding to Anti-Indian Activity

Why the US government supports Indian gaming
From American Indian Movement Activist on the Abramoff Scandal:  "One of many racists out to defraud Native tribes" by Robert Robideau:

Governmental reports alleging that gaming revenue has been used to "reduce poverty and unemployment rates, build schools and hospitals, paved road and construct sewer systems, preserve and revitalize cultural traditions and build responsive and responsible government institutions such as tribal courts" are a smokescreen for the United States to escape its treaty obligations.

If these treaties had been honored decades ago, the Native American communities would have enjoyed the same opportunities and the same standard of living as mainstream America.

'Nuff said.

More developments in Indian gaming
Pequots gave aquarium $5 million
Skinwalkers couldn't stop casino
Heritage month at Seneca casino
Stars shine at Mohegan Sun
Chinatown vs. Foxwoods
Top DJ at Casino Pauma
Political ads stereotype Colvilles
Gaming impoverishes the soul
Greatest threat to sovereignty?
Parrotheads flock to Mohegan
McCain's gambling problem
Seminoles have gaming "disease"
Another novel about casino corruption
Sold-out casino shows
Flying Elvi at Pojoaque
World's largest bingo hall
Gaming fosters music studio
How the Pequots got recognized
Church to boycott casino?
Foxwoods full of stereotypes?
Pix of the Pechanga golf course
Indian Gaming Advocate of the Year
Indian casino in Family Guy
Agua Caliente gambling sculpture
Casinos fund cultural projects
Witchcraft threatens casino
Seminoles play ball with Yankees
Chief tosses to Braves
Director to tackle Indian gaming?
From Apache playing cards to Zozobra
Leading Native news sites
Disenrollees are hopping mad
"Think tribal ancestors wanted casino?"
Dan Ackroyd at Mohegan Sun
Seminole rock 'n' roll park
San Manuel tackles Darfur crisis
Casinos promote culture
N.M. marketer of the year
Morongo hosts Steve Spitz
Casinos aid Native boxers
20th anniversary of IGRA
Mohegans left out of 21
Cahuilla Indians and scalping
Gaming tribes vs. charities
California tribes close nightclubs
Seminole success story
No Star Trek at Nambe
Bingo casino for Wampanoags?
Schaghticoke pyramid scheme
SCALPED casino vs. real casino
Unions vs. tribes
Tribes contemplate Vegas casino
Vegas on the rez
San Manuel seeks bingo record
Reenroll the disenrollees
Laguna's homage to Route 66
San Manuel sponsors Aborigine
11 land-into-trust applications rejected
Off-rez casinos canceled
Bankers gamble on Navajos
Service award for Pico
Hair-pulling at the Hard Rock
Seminoles under the microscope
Mohawks traffic in online gaming
Shirt links logo, casinos
What casinos mean to Indians
Stats say racism defeated racino
America's history of gambling
Racism sinks racino
Cultural tourism at Santa Ana
18-year-olds get $45,000 each
Winnowing the tribal herds?
Seminoles in Asia
Sandia should pay jackpot
Archaeologists vs. casino
Pechanga documentary on TV
Get a casino, give up sovereignty
"Typical greedy corporate businessmen"
Casino vs. union
The "Chumash Buy-Way"
The "rich Indians" perception
Radio show on gaming tribe
Indian casinos reduce poverty
Marshall is rapist, liar
Cosby dodges disenrollment issue
Notah touts Turning Stone tournament
Mohegan Sun in red scare
More on Pechanga paintings
Indian leaders = supermen
Disenrollment shrinks tribes
Tribes gambled 14,000 years ago
Golf course to teach culture
Gaming tribes vs. union
Bypassing the recognition process
Gaming tribes vs. nongaming tribes
Seminoles remake Hard Rock
Morongo wants to be shot
Gaming the economic engine
The Pechanga Collection
What would Leno do?
Casinos = madness?
Quechan elders vs. casino
Jimmy Buffett joins Mohegans
Sacred site or casino?
What motivates anti-Indian groups?
Morongo pulls ad campaign
Giago notices casino benefits
Schwarzenegger stumps for tribes
Casino sign riddled with bullets
"Together We Soar"...with slots
Morongo launches ad blitz
Dying girl vs. casino regulations
Non-Indians line up for handout
My Casino Journal cover story
Sexy time in Connecticut
Mixing business and culture
Another billboard battle
Stillaguamish eyesores
Trading sovereignty for casinos
Humble but strong leadership
Moviemaking at Morongo
Hand-in-glove relationship

Trade shows—2008
Adam Beach at G2E 2008
How Dreamseekers came about
Global Gaming Expo 2008 (Day 4)
Global Gaming Expo 2008 (Day 3)
Global Gaming Expo 2008 (Day 2)
Global Gaming Expo 2008 (Day 1)
Off to Las Vegas '08
Adam Beach at NIGA
NIGA celebrates cultures
Native cooking at the US Grant
More pix from NIGA
Pix of NIGA 2008
Day 3 at NIGA
Day 2 at NIGA
Off to San Diego
My next gaming trip
Pix of the 2008 WIGC
Off to Palm Springs

California Propositions 94-97
Anti-compact ads = Cavalry attacks
Props. 94-97 win
Rob's guide to Props. 94-97
Tribes differ on propositions
Big four didn't oppose Dickstein five
Play the greedy-tribe game!
Two tribes vs. many
Tribes buy NAACP's support
Legal quandary over compacts
Deceptive anti-compact ad
Argument for Props. 94-97
Schwazenegger stumps for casinos
More Pechanga bashing

Trade shows—2007
G2E photos
Wrestling with a slot machine
Guest stars at G2E
At the Global Gaming Expo
Report from NIGA, redux
Humble but strong leadership
Pix of my Phoenix trip
Pop-culture report from Phoenix
Pix of the 2007 WIGC

Trade shows—2006
At the Indian gaming convention

More Indian gaming stereotypes
Indian rights = special rights
Too-powerful Indians
Rich Indians
Greedy Indians

Related links
The essential facts about Indians today
The facts about tribal sovereignty

Readers respond
"[W]riterfella's posts stated that Chickahominy people were Blacks, as are the Lumbee and the Pequots."
"'Faux' Natives are everywhere, some even achieving Federal recognition as 'tribes'."
Tired of phony Indians:  "groups that lobby and posture and pretend and then get slowly advancing recognition for being something they absolutely are not."
"Federal recognition isn't what non-Natives crack it up to be....But it sure sounds good to the white men that grant such recognition."
"The only problem here is this: the Pequots are not Natives."
"The use of the word 'gaming' instead of 'gambling' by the gambling industry is sales language (as if they are ashamed of the word 'gambling')."
"Wonder how many casino-rich Indians have felt a pang of conscience that they are profiting off of other people's addiction?"

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Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.

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