April 26, 2018 by

American Indian Casino Successes and Failures

The two primary challenges faced by land based casinos are the increasing tendency of players to eschew travelling to a land based casino in favor of playing at a casino online and the competition that so many land based casinos place upon each other.  Added to the challenge of meeting competition generally, many casinos face an imbalanced competitive challenge from the many Native American casinos.

US Government Decision against Two Tribes

Having said this, we would like to discuss some successes and some failures of America Indian casinos.  The news this week is that the US department of the Interior, which makes policy decisions that affect Native Americans, rejected a request from two Connecticut Indian tribes, the Mohegan and the Mashantucket Pequot, to build a casino in the state.

There was immediate speculation that the Department of Interior had a) rejected the advice of department experts who had been asked to give their judgment whether the casino should be built and who said that it should and b) that the decision resulted from massive lobbying against approving the casino by MGM Resorts International which would face stiff competition from the casino were it to be built.

Competition in the casino business comes not only from other casinos but from one group’s familiarity with the bureaucratic process and another group’s failing to grasp the subtleties of the lobbying system in Washington.  Despite having the support of “experts” the Indian tribes didn’t have the support of bureaucrats who may or may not have been swayed by the high-powered lobbyists from MGM Resorts International.

Land Purchase

In the news is a report that the Pamunkey Tribe has bought land and will seek approval for a casino and resort on the land in Kent County Virginia.  At the present time, there are no casinos in Virginia.

The Pamunkey Tribe was recognized by the Department of the Interior only in 2015.  They claim Pocahontas as an ancestor and are said to have been the most prominent tribe in the confederation of tribes called the Powhatan Paramount Chiefdom which was the group of Indians that welcomed the British settlers at Jamestown in 1620.

The land purchase was the easiest part of this process.  The tribe will still have to go through many bureaucratic requirements such as impact studies.  The fact that the tribe is talking about building a resort is also significant.  It may no longer be sufficient for an entrepreneur who wants to build a casino to build a hotel and casino complex.

These days, an entrepreneur has to build resort.  The concept of the Integrated Resort began a decade ago in Singapore as a way to get the government there to approve a casino.  the idea is that the casino is just one of many attractions at the resort.  The resort will include family friendly theme parks, pools, shopping, theaters, restaurants, and a convention center.  So the tribe will have to raise far more money to build a resort than it would have had to borrow to build a hotel and casino complex.

CasinoAmountGameNameWhen
SlotoCash$51,187.50Cash Bandits 2winner iconSadegh Z.2020-09-13
Fair Go$49,940.00Triple Twisterwinner iconBrenton W.2020-09-18
Fair Go$44,910.00Sweet 16winner iconDean P.2020-09-18
PlayCroco$41,150.00Ocean Odditieswinner iconBevan T.2020-09-09
Intertops Classic$40,000.00Kenowinner iconDaniel B.2020-09-20
SlotoCash$38,650.00Loch Ness Lootwinner iconZachary Z.2020-09-13
Slotastic$36,000.00Americanwinner iconJoseph G.2020-09-09
PlayCroco$35,200.00Panda's Goldwinner iconTodd N.2020-09-18
Grande Vegas$25,130.00Achilles Deluxewinner iconDebra C.2020-09-08
Fair Go$24,840.00Triple Twisterwinner iconMaria S.2020-09-10
Fair Go$24,770.50Panda's Goldwinner iconBrendan B.2020-09-13
SlotoCash$23,700.00Cash Bandits 2winner iconMark C.2020-09-12
Fair Go$22,838.00Crystal Waterswinner iconGeorgina W.2020-09-19
Fair Go$21,860.00Naughty Or Nicewinner iconRoss N.2020-09-11
Fair Go$21,315.00Cash Bandits 2winner iconDylan P.2020-09-20
Grande Vegas$21,000.00Super 6winner iconTimothy L.2020-09-19
Fair Go$20,550.00Ghost Shipwinner iconKevin C.2020-09-11
Slotastic$20,340.00Builder Beaverwinner iconPrunella P.2020-09-08
SlotoCash$20,000.00Double Double Bonus Pokerwinner iconJen D.2020-09-18
Fair Go$20,000.00Stardustwinner iconMaria C.2020-09-14
Slotastic$20,000.00Bonus Deuces Wildwinner iconAndrea B.2020-09-11
Fair Go$19,350.00Triple Twisterwinner iconAlex H.2020-09-15
SlotoCash$19,200.00Cash Bandits 3winner iconTom W.2020-09-14
PlayCroco$18,000.00Kenowinner iconMelissa W.2020-09-19
Grande Vegas$17,100.00Bubble Bubble 2winner iconTyler N.2020-09-13
SlotoCash$16,350.00Sweet 16winner iconAmanda A.2020-09-09
Jackpot Capital$16,080.00Triple Twisterwinner iconMichael D.2020-09-07
Slotastic$16,000.00BlackJackwinner iconTristan L.2020-09-08
Slotastic$15,611.83Plentiful Treasurewinner iconMartin R.2020-09-13
Jackpot Capital$14,872.50Super 6winner iconKevin B.2020-09-13
SlotoCash$13,500.00The Mariachi 5winner iconTally R.2020-09-20
Slotastic$13,437.50Cash Bandits 3winner iconRoger F.2020-09-12
Jackpot Capital$13,000.00Diamond Fiestawinner iconWendy S.2020-09-18
SlotoCash$13,000.00Panda's Goldwinner iconGavino A.2020-09-07
Slotastic$12,750.00Storm Lordswinner iconJames E.2020-09-16
Grande Vegas$12,500.00Loose Deuceswinner iconMarie R.2020-09-20
SlotoCash$12,225.00Loch Ness Lootwinner iconCabrena C.2020-09-14
SlotoCash$12,210.00God of Wealthwinner iconDawn P.2020-09-13
PlayCroco$11,950.50Storm Lordswinner iconTiari H.2020-09-20
Jackpot Capital$11,872.50Panda's Goldwinner iconLuke H.2020-09-09
PlayCroco$11,104.00Panda's Goldwinner iconAndrew F.2020-09-09
PlayCroco$10,000.00Kenowinner iconPaige F.2020-09-15
Jackpot Capital$9,331.90Plentiful Treasurewinner iconSherry B.2020-09-12
PlayCroco$9,330.00Panda Magicwinner iconTyler I.2020-09-13
Grande Vegas$9,310.00Diamond Fiestawinner iconSam T.2020-09-20
PlayCroco$9,090.00Cash Bandits 3winner iconDeanna D.2020-09-16
Intertops Classic$8,500.00Kenowinner iconLaura R.2020-09-17
Slotastic$8,000.00Kenowinner iconKazelyn R.2020-09-14
Grande Vegas$8,000.00BlackJackwinner iconTim B.2020-09-11
Grande Vegas$8,000.00BlackJackwinner iconBrian L.2020-09-13
PlayCroco$7,750.00Diamond Fiestawinner iconSharine L.2020-09-17
PlayCroco$7,616.00Cash Bandits 3winner iconLeeanne M.2020-09-07
Jackpot Capital$7,515.00Achilles Deluxewinner iconCatherine P.2020-09-18
Jackpot Capital$6,902.50Ghost Shipwinner iconMarie P.2020-09-09
Jackpot Capital$6,875.00Lucky 6winner iconLatonia Z. W.2020-09-14
Jackpot Capital$6,831.06Return of the Rudolphwinner iconLori G.2020-09-10
Grande Vegas$6,300.00Voodoo Magicwinner iconAaron S.2020-09-08
Jackpot Capital$6,250.00Shopping Spree IIwinner iconNeva J.2020-09-19
Grande Vegas$6,142.50Super 6winner iconJordan W.2020-09-12
Grande Vegas$6,031.815 Wisheswinner iconJennifer A.2020-09-07
Slotastic$5,325.00Pay Dirtwinner iconRebecca D.2020-09-11
Slotastic$5,150.00Wild Hog Luauwinner iconBrad B.2020-09-20
Intertops Classic$4,600.00Live Baccaratwinner iconColby S.2020-09-12
Intertops Classic$3,075.00Tri-Card Pokerwinner iconJoel B.2020-09-16
Intertops Classic$3,000.00Kenowinner iconEric Q.2020-09-13
Intertops Classic$2,500.00Kenowinner iconJustin R.2020-09-11
Intertops Classic$2,000.00BlackJackwinner iconBryan K.2020-09-14
Intertops Classic$2,000.00BlackJackwinner iconLuke L.2020-09-21
Intertops Classic$2,000.00Suit 'Em Up™winner iconJoseph S.2020-09-20
Intertops Classic$2,000.00BlackJackwinner iconJeff L.2020-09-16

$1,000,000

The Shakopee Mdewakanton tribe in Minnesota has been so successful running land based casinos that every tribal member receives one million dollars a year!!!

Not as Easy as it Seems

However, the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe of Massachusetts is experiencing a far different situation.  Back in 2007, the Bureau of Indian affairs recognized that the Mashpee Wampanoag traced back to colonial times and were still almost 100% pure Mashpee even in 2007.  In 2015, the Bureau set aside some land for the tribe to be its reservation.

There were two problems with the land that was set aside.  The total amount of land was 130 hectares, about 325 acres.  The problems were that the land was divided with 60 hectares in one location and the remaining land 65 miles away.  The second problem is that the land in both places was in villages, the towns of Staunton and the town of Mashpee.

Cedric Cromwell, the tribe’s leader, said that the amount of land was but a small fraction of the land the tribe controlled in the early decades of European settlement.

The tribe asked the town of Staunton for permission to build a massive casino complex that would cost about one billion dollars to build.  The condition the tribe placed on the deal was that no other casino could be built “in the area”.  The town granted the tribe permission to build the casino and the tribe borrowed money toward that end.  But a developer from outside the state also wanted to build a casino “in the area”.  His casino would be only about 15 miles from the Indian casino.

The case is making its way through the courts amid charges of racism and anti-Indian bias.  Meanwhile, the tribe has millions of dollars of debt and no means to pay back the loan.

Sports Betting

The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) is already petitioning to be allowed to take sports betting bets if and when the Supreme Court decides that the law that prohibited sports betting is unconstitutional.  The law that opened the way for Native American casinos specifically allowed casino gambling.  Therefore, one interpretation of the law has it that the Indian tribes that run casinos have no legal authority to offer sports betting.

Riches Come with a Price

The Native American tribes that have opened casinos successfully have also had to pay a price in the loss of some traditional tribal culture.  The riches that the younger generation of Native Americans receive has in many cases enticed them to become more modern and to follow ancient customs less.

Every week there is something in the news about the difficulties Native American tribes are experiencing amidst the riches casinos have brought.

David is our amateur economist and political philosopher, weather enthusiast, killer Sudoku fan, and best darn game analyst we've found.

In the twenty or so years since graduating college David has completely changed his gaming practices. Where once he played mostly video games with the occasional swing at blackjack at land-based casinos, David switched course and became a regular Sudoku player. David says that he likes the intellectual challenge of solving difficult problems.

Since he began playing Sudoku in earnest, ... [Read David Connor full bio]