Advantages And Disadvantages Of Casinos

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In North America, Native peoples established casinos as a way to better their tribes through increasing their income. While these casinos have improved the lives of some Native North Americans, they are also a source of conflict within and outside of tribes. Furthermore, casinos have also given rise to new stereotypes surrounding indigenous people because outsiders do not understand the benefits of gaming for the tribes. As my hometown contains a federally recognized tribe that runs a casino, I feel that by learning about gaming in Native tribes, I can better understand the advantages and disadvantages of casinos for tribes and the conflicts that arise because of them.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Native North Americans faced dire living conditions.
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Due to Reaganomics during the 1980’s, many people lost government support, contributing to the stereotype of poor Indians living on a reservation. In order to combat poverty, tribes began bingo parlors to increase revenue. This income went towards education, health care, and other necessities for the people of the tribe. Because of Native gaming, a new stereotype of lazy Indians living off of casino revenue has mostly replaced the poor Indian label, at least where the casinos have succeeded.
The first instance of Native people trying to use gambling as a means to improve their tribe occurred in 1979 with the Seminoles in Florida (NAS 10 Jan 18, 2016). They began by opening a bingo parlor, which quickly grew into a full casino. Once this happened, that state got involved because they believed they should have control over gaming
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For example, The Paiute Palace Casino in my hometown has caused disparity between the Tribal Council and the members. The Council is hoping to expand the casino into two empty lots behind the existing building. However, these lots were assigned to a family in 1937 and the descendants of the original owner do not agree with the expansion (Vane 2015). The Council decided to go ahead with the expansion and charged the family with trespassing on that land. This issue has been critically disputed for many years, since the death of the original person assigned the land, and there has been dissent between the Tribal Court and the Court of Appeals on who really has rights to the land. According to the federal law, the tribe owns that land and assigns it to members. However, the family believes that the land should still be assigned to them because it was assigned for family use. This topic is still debated today and affects my hometown

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