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Friday, January 07, 2005

Indian gaming is back!

Governor Pawlenty met with three of the less prosperous Indian tribes to discuss a possible partnership between the state and the tribes in opening a casino in the Twin Cities area. These tribes have not enjoyed the same riches from gambling as other tribes in Minnesota, primarily due to their location, and they are looking for a piece of the ever-expanding gaming pie. The state, of course, is always looking for new money, and if you can get it from something other than a "tax" it is even better.

I've said this was a bad idea before, and I still think this is a bad idea. I have no problem with tribes opening casinos. I have no problem with the state allowing them to open a casino that is closer to populated areas (okay, I have a bit of a problem with the unfairness of this). I have no problem with the state deciding to allow a private, regulated gaming industry here akin to Nevada. But the state should not be a business partner in a venture like this. Frankly, I'm surprised that Pawlenty is pushing this so hard. This is a bad idea for conservatives for at least two reasons: it is the government operating in the private sector as a business entity, and it is the government operating in an "immoral" business. And yet he continues to push this plan.

I don't think the people of Minnesota want Las Vegas-style gambling here, with a gambling regulatory commission, taxation, and the whole nine yards. Personally, I wouldn't mind. What Pawlenty wants is to thread a course between those two ideas, to have his cake and eat it too: give the state more revenue without letting any other private businesses have the opportunity to compete. That door should not be opened.


At 2:29 PM, April 29, 2005, Anonymous nate d. -Minnesota River Valley Reader said...

Last week, I received another letter from the "friendly" Mdewankaton Sioux tribe. The 200 members of this Native American tribe are the richest in the U.S. earning $100,000 per month as a result of their casino located in Prior Lake, Minnesota. I had the pleasure working for them for five years and learning about all their problems and politics.

Before I go any further, I need to make a point about my experience working in the (native) casino business. It is important to understand that the gamming industry holds a multi-edged sword when it comes to debate. Although there are many arguments surrounding legalized gambling, For example: Protesters claim the true effects of legalized gambling are serious and silent among communities. Whereas advocates refute casinos are beneficial. In native gamming; proceeds are expected to help pay for services, education, programs, etc. As well, casinos create careers.

People who never worked in casinos have a hard time understanding how awful they really are. Every casino in the world is involved in a business that thrives on its “guests” and the only way it can survive is by portraying a sense of superior “guest service” and using that as an image. They want to make a person feel like; they are “not at home,” way from all their problems and create isolation. That is why guest service is so important in the casino world. We are talking about a ruthless business with serious consequences consisting of running people down and out-of-town. In this business, it’s called “grinding.” That means keeping people hooked with guest service as they come back day after day while the casino slowly grinds money out of pocket.

One can argue that it is these people who make their own decisions and need to accept responsibility for their finances and families. I can understand that but the response is where do the casinos draw the line? They will do anything they can to keep people around and slowly chip away at their health and well being. In local advertisement, casino companies depict elderly couples sneaking out of bed during the middle of the night to go gamble. There is nothing romantic about this. The realities about their advertisements are indicative of gambling addiction and a chronic, very sad situation with our senior citizens. The truth is gamming is a stray industry in the hands of experts who are capable of discovering solutions to increase profit silently and unconventionally. Unlike the old days of Las Vegas, today’s casinos depend highly on scientific, calculated, and unregulated methods proven to win every time, over time.

The Mdewankaton Sioux are among the several gamming tribes exploiting thousands of Minnesotans and destroying lives. In return, Minnesotans are trying to cover the cost of this reckless enterprise with proceeds from the Minnesota State Lottery. They do not pay for the widespread problems caused by gambling! These people on the SMSC Tribal Council do not care about their people, or anyone else. Every time the State of Minnesota confronts them into paying for something, they send out a letter to everyone around here proving their donations to the world. This means nothing to many folks. However, the tribe expects everyone to know that they do not have to report any money at all to the state or federal governments under their sovereignty. They think these letters are supposed to impress us into believing, “Wow, tribal gamming does works for the Indians, they must really care!” The truth is nobody knows for sure how much this tribe is making off the second largest native casino in the U.S. and these donations are not even close to a fraction of their total earnings while a very large majority of their people live in poverty.

These gamming tribes are the actual jackpot winners and their casino is more like a “palace of shattered dreams.” Moreover, this casino racket they have going for them is like a black hole in a galaxy of commerce: It is disruptive, money can't escape its mass, and it's a science-defining mystery where cash ends up in the end. No one seems to know.

At 2:29 AM, September 04, 2007, Anonymous Gambling Rights said...

I am with you as far as gambling any where, but where politics and gambling comes together I always start suspecting.

I think many politicians are corrupted due to the big bucks casino owners are offering them in return for licenses and that is why I think the government should allow gambling so that local politician will have nothing to do with it and keep their hands clean.

Indian reservations had been given the rights to open casinos on their lands and the fact that they need approvals for change of location from the local authorities shows you how much corruption there is.

At 7:08 AM, January 10, 2008, Blogger MrCy said...

Some of the hottest casino jackpots can be found in the online gambling industry.


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