Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Gambling and Indian Tribes

As Shinnecock Indians returned to their reservation on Long Island after World War II, elders warned that their tribe’s long struggle for survival was once again threatened.

Decent jobs were scarce and many Shinnecock veterans were leaving, draining the reservation of needed hands. ...

Now this small tribe on the eastern end of Long Island is on the verge of sketching a new, perhaps more prosperous chapter. The Obama administration’s recent announcement that the Shinnecocks met the criteria for federal recognition finally paves the way for a casino, generating a bounty of jobs and revenue.
The odd fact raised by this story is that the U.S. pays restitution to Indian Tribes by giving them monopoly rights (within a given state or area) to sell casino gambling services. 
 
Here's a different approach: legalize all gambling.  Then have an honest debate about whether, or how much, the U.S. should pay restitution to Native Americans.

17 comments:

drover said...

Let's give the Natives a near-monopoly on Class A casino gambling, as is the case with federally recognized tribes around the country. They failed to obtain the patent on tobacco, their lands and royalties were taken, and a debate on reparations would be an onerous bureaucratic mess. (Obama's $3.4B settlement of the long-standing native lawsuit is being held up.)

There are state lotteries, local Class B card houses (Native casinos less the slots), pulltabs, coupons and bottle caps, bingo, circles of friends, and Wall Street. There's competition and variety.

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