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>>Indian Casinos

An interesting phenomenon has come about in the US over the last twenty-five years involving Native American groups (American Indians) and gaming, or gambling. That is, certain Indian tribes have set up casinos on their reservations, in some cases generating millions of dollars in revenue for the tribe.

Indian reservations are areas of land that were set aside by the Federal Government for Native Americans in the 19th century, and they are considered to be partially sovereign. Consequently, while Federal laws apply there, many of laws of the US state in which the reservation is located do not.

For example, the legality of gambling is considered a state matter, not a Federal one, so while gambling, or some forms of it, may be illegal in a given state, it could still be legal on a reservation. In such cases, Indians can have what amounts to a virtual monopoly on gaming.

For a concise definition, explanation and history of Indian Reservations, go to Wikipedia.

You can also visit the US Bureau of Indian Affairs for more information.

To visit the website of an Indian tribe and their casino, visit Foxwoods. There, you’ll find commercial information about the casino, but also links to a separate website that describes the tribe’s history and culture.

While some tribes have benefited economically from gaming, they are a minority, and poverty remains a major problem on America’s Indian Reservations. See this data from the US Census Bureau.

To learn more about economic development strategies for Indian Reservations, visit this page at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

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