General Question

john65pennington's avatar

Are Indian tribes building too many casinos?

Asked by john65pennington (29235points) October 4th, 2010

I think we all enjoy playing at a casino every once in a while, to test our luck. But, are Indian tribes trying to capitalize and build too many casinos? Case in point: An Indian tribe in Arizona wants to build a new casino not on their land, but rather urban land, located over 100 miles from their reservation, in Glendale, Arizona. The city would be responsible for water, trash, security and roads to the casino, at taxpayers expense. Question: Are Indian tribes building too many casinos, NOT on their land?

Source: USA Today

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

31 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

In our area, casinos are not owned by Native American tribes, and there are too many of them.

I’m amazed at how many people go with regularity, and drop several hundred dollars a week there, mostly retired people.

meiosis's avatar

Well, reading the story on USA Today it’s quite clear that, law suits notwithstanding, it is their land. They bought it, and the US government has declared it reservation land.

As for too many casinos, let the market decide. Grown adults should be free to gamble if they wish to, given that it hurts no-one but themselves and their families.

marinelife's avatar

Is this question a comment on too may casinos or an anti-Native American rant? Do you also think there are “too many casinos” in Las Vegas or Reno or Atlantic City (not Native-American owned)?

john65pennington's avatar

Marinelife, this is not just my question, it’s also a question of USA Today. check out thier website and read the article for yourself. the article goes into depth as to why Indian tribes are asking the Federal Government for money to build their casinos. this is not a rant. it’s a fair question.

Seek's avatar

Well, since the Seminole Hard Rock opened up a few years ago, so have literally thousands of jobs in the area. I can’t find a number, LinkdIn says between 1001–5000, which doesn’t surprise me when you count the hotel staff, casino staff, pool staff, entertainers, bar staffs, landscapers, maintenance technicians, etc.

On top of that, there’s something else to do at any given time. And not just gambling – there are shows, small concerts, a nightclub, a cigar room, even a pool where you can simply pay for admission or even rent a private cabana for the day. My friend did this for her last anniversary and she said it was glorious.

Now, I don’t know how much knowledge you have of planning and development, but when a big-ticket something is built, the developer usually ends up making a deal with the municipality like “If you let us build this, we’ll improve the highway, pay for the new interstate exit, and contribute X dollars to set aside protected environmental lands, etc.” The municipality does not shoulder the cost of the new roadways that need to be developed – or if they do, the commissioners should be fired.

YoBob's avatar

Gee, I don’t know. Do you think that British Petroleum is building too many gas stations in America?

What difference does it make to you what business endeavors the Native American population chooses to invest in?

TexasDude's avatar

I have no problem with Indian Casinos as long as they are privately paid for. Nobody is being forced to gamble, the casinos bring in jobs and tourism, and I’m happy that many Indians have been able to cash in on the capitalist spirit and improve their tribal standard of living some have become incredibly rich. More power to them, I say.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Nullo's avatar

@YoBob I think that the problem that @john65pennington has is with the way that the utilities are going to be covered by taxpayer money.

I am of the opinion that there are too many casinos, period, on account of all of the vices that they keep about themselves.

crisw's avatar


“What difference does it make to you what business endeavors the Native American population chooses to invest in?”

If someone wants to build a gas station down the street, they have to follow the laws of the land on building one. The Indians don’t. And a gas station is unlikely to make anyone’s life worse. A casino is.

As an example- In San Diego County we have over a dozen casinos already, The Jamul Indian Tribe, a tiny “tribe” of around 25 people which has a “reservation” of less than four acres- on which not a single person lives- wants to build a multistory casino on it, on one of the most dangerous two-lane highways in the state. Repeated surveys gave shown that over 95% of the community oppose this, and studies have documented that there will be tremendous negative impacts on traffic, groundwater, noise, light pollution, etc.

Even Sam Walton couldn’t build a Wal-Mart in the middle of a rural area zoned for agriculture, on the edge of a wildlife refuge, just because he wanted to. But the Indians can build just about whatever they damn well please, because they are Indians. So far, all that is stopping them is that they want to connect their casino to the dangerous highway- and they do have to get state permission for that because the State owns the highway. The State says “no, too dangerous”- so they are suing the State.

Sure, there is all the “sovereign nation” stuff. Well, fine. Be your own nation. But then don’t ask for US government help, and don’t expect all of us to bear the negative impact of your projects.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the Indians themselves aren’t even the real driving forces behind these projects. It’s huge conglomerates- in the case of the Jamul casino, Lakes Gaming of Minnesota. They provide the funding and reap the profits, while we get screwed.

I may be a liberal bleeding heart, but this issue makes me sound like Glen Beck!

ragingloli's avatar

All of American Soil is originally their land, so I would have no problem if they rose up and drove all of the non natives into the sea.
But that is just my reasonable opinion.

YoBob's avatar

@crisw Sounds to me like the system is working just fine.

Somebody wants to build a casino in a particular location and hook up to the highway

The State says no, the highway is too dangerous

The folks who want to build the casino are suing, which is their right. The outcome is still TBD.

So… what’s the problem, other than the apparent beef you have with the legal status of Native American tribes?

Brian1946's avatar


This land was previously Native American land anyway, before the Euros invaded this hemisphere and stole it.

crisw's avatar


The beef is that they are doing something that harms others without any restrictions on that harm. They have more rights in this matter than we do. The whole Jamul story is much longer and more complicated; I have just given a synopsis. But, as to the road issue- the state wants them to use a side road that is safer. They refuse because they don’t want to go through the same permitting process everyone else has to use.

Why should they have more rights than we, as citizens, do? Why should they be allowed to harm us? The whole “we did bad things to them in the past” doesn’t wash here- two wrongs don’t make a right.

thekoukoureport's avatar

The whole country is building too many gambling outlets. What is being made by this industry…. TAX REVENUE! We as a nation are bleeding people dry on hopes and dreams. Bet with your head not over it!., Give your dreams a chance! Selling dreams that I call a TAX on the stupid. Have I gambled sure, am I some sort of reformer no. I just believe that the people that hurt the most by this OVERSATURATION are the people that have the least. To who’s benefit? BLOATED STATE GOVERNMENT.

YoBob's avatar

@crisw What harm? If you don’t want to go to the casino, then don’t.

The only real problem you have called out is the use of a dangerous highway, which the state seems to be handling just fine.

Ok, I understand you are pissed at that whole sovereign nation thing, but that’s the facts of life. They are operating within existing established laws and unless you can come up with something bit more concrete than “because I’m annoyed” I am having difficulty buying into the whole “harmful to others” argument.

Nullo's avatar

@YoBob On a side note, it’s not quite as easy as “if you don’t want to go to the casino, then don’t.” There is a type of person who is easily addicted to gambling, and they tend not to realize it until they’re addicted to gambling.

@Brian1946, @ragingloli It has been demonstrated that property can and does change hands. If you disagree, you might consider moving out of your respective domiciles and starving to death, since housing, food, clothes, etc. all belonged to somebody else before you bought them.

Brian1946's avatar


I bought my house at a price with which the somebody else agreed.
I didn’t move in without their permission and then force them to move somewhere else not of their choosing.

I wouldn’t ask you to consider moving out of your place and starving to death in those latter circumstances, but maybe that’s just me.

Nullo's avatar

@Brian1946 Manhattan was purchased at an agreed-upon price. :\

CMaz's avatar

It really does not matter what they do or how many they have. We owe it to them.

crisw's avatar


“The only real problem you have called out is the use of a dangerous highway, which the state seems to be handling just fine.”

No, I mentioned others. Here they are, plus more.
– It is being built without having to adhere to local and state laws
– It will use up precious groundwater.
– It will cause night sky light pollution in our dark-sky area
– It will result in loss of revenue to locals due to its negative impact on home values
– It will result in more air pollution
– We already had to pay for a new fire station as they kicked the station out of their long-term lease
– It will result in delays of emergency services due to trafic congestion
– It will have a negative impact on the wildlife refuge next to it

I think that the residents of an area- ALL the residents- should have a say over what gets built in the neighborhood. None of the members of the tribe actually live in Jamul. Almost all of them have stated they will not work in the casino. In what reasonable world should we have to endure the harm that this casino will cause just so they can get rich? Again- a US citizen could not do this. The Indians can, because they are a “sovereign nation,” yet they acept government handouts hand over fist- handouts we citizens cannot get.

Nullo's avatar

@ChazMaz I owe approximately $5,000 in student loans and $2,000 on my car. Beyond that, I am indebted to no one.
Heck, my ancestors didn’t even come over until the early 20th century, so you can’t even make the claim that my forefathers did anything to the Indians.

CMaz's avatar

I understand your point. But, it is still land that was taken through the process of genocide.
And, because of that the Indian Nation is going extinct.

Let’s face it. This is not our land.

Nullo's avatar

@ChazMaz Then no land is anybody’s land, since it all belonged to someone else before.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Not only genocide from a lawe standpoint the government broke treaty after treaty under Jackson. Who proclaimed Divine providence over all the land.

from wikipedia;
In any case, Jackson used the Georgia crisis to pressure Cherokee leaders to sign a removal treaty. A small faction of Cherokees led by John Ridge negotiated the Treaty of New Echota with Jackson’s representatives. Ridge was not a recognized leader of the Cherokee Nation, and this document was rejected by most Cherokees as illegitimate.[44] Over 15,000 Cherokees signed a petition in protest of the proposed removal; the list was ignored by the Supreme Court and the U.S. legislature, in part due to unfortunate and tragic delays and timing.[45] The treaty was enforced by Jackson’s successor, Van Buren, who ordered 7,000 armed troops to remove the Cherokees. Due to the infighting between political factions, many Cherokees thought their appeals were still being considered until troops arrived.[46] This abrupt and forced removal resulted in the deaths of over 4,000 Cherokees on the “Trail of Tears”.

That was the past… What we have today is really the result of soo many treaties and legal agreements being broken from our government that the Tribes that are left are able to use the governments own legal system to take advantage at this point and time. It’s only taken about a hundred years and untold 10’s of thousands of lives, But they are finally finding a way to work in this society.

Not saying a casino is right, you already heard my rant above, but welcome to the free market.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

If one is inclined to limit the number of new casinos, then there are ways to do that.

If one wants to restrict new casinos based on the racial or cultural origin of those who own or run them, then we are facing blatant racism.

When society is open to Native people working and living beside other Americans, they will have access to the education and opportunities many others take for granted.

Nullo's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence I think that the greater concern is the way that casinos destroy peoples’ lives. Racism isn’t under every rock, after all.

crisw's avatar


“If one wants to restrict new casinos based on the racial or cultural origin of those who own or run them, then we are facing blatant racism.”

It isn’t based on cultural origin; it’s based on the fact that they don’t have to follow the same rules everyone else does. This is its own form of prejudice.

Nullo's avatar

Also, culturalism =/= racism.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Casinos do have many harmful effects, no matter by whom they are run. Given the historical and ongoing limitations imposed on native people, different rules are warranted in many cases.

In my opinion, the OP’s concern was about native run casinos, not just casinos!

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther