Indian Casino operates in all parts of the United States. The Pequots’ Foxwoods is the best Indian casino moneymaker in the United States today. This Indian casino started in 1983 but the actual building construction and casino operation took place in 1986 after it won a legal battle against the State of Connecticut. Pequots’ Foxwoods run by the Manshatucket Pequot Tribal Council rose from humble beginnings and has never looked back since then. Pequots’ Foxwoods is one Indian casino success.
A number of Indian casinos sprung all over the United States. Mystic Lake Casino is another Indian casino that makes it to the top. Mystic Lake Casino is operated by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota (Sioux) of Prior Lake. Mystic Lake Casino comes next to Pequots’ Foxwoods when it comes to being the top Indian casino moneymaker in the United States. Mystic Lake Casino is one of the first to get started in the Indian casino business. It started with 6 trailers on Shakopee Reservation land named “Little Six” named after the 19th century Dakota leader Shakopee which means “Little Six”. This Indian casino was a huge success.
Gambling is a huge business in America. It is estimated to be worth $400 billion a year. And it is still a growing industry. Indian casinos have been rocked with controversies, criticisms and jealousy. Out of the 557 recognized reservations by the federal, 33% are into some form of commercial gaming. Another 29% are hoping to follow the footsteps of their fellow-Indians. But among those on reservations who are into commercial gaming, a number have failed too.
The monetary benefits of casinos are particularly felt in very small tribes that are close to major urban areas or areas that have been developed for tourism. Small Indian tribes are allowed to live near major urban areas. Larger tribes are usually assigned in remote camps far from the white settlers. That is why the most successful casinos are those Indian casinos with very small tribes.
Indian casinos are sometimes beset by internal strife, conflicts, corruption and theft. Recently, federal criminal convictions were meted out to Minnesota White Earth Ojibwe reservation leaders for tribal government corruption using the casino money. Other Indian tribes that are experiencing ongoing internal conflict due to the Indian casino include the Keweenaw Bay (L’Anse) the largest Indian tribe in Michigan.
Indian casinos are a by-product of the sovereignty of the Native Nations which was finally acknowledged by the courts after Indians fought for it through activism and litigation. The publicity generated “the Occupation of Alcatraz Island” and “AIM occupation of Wounded Knee” exposed the thefts, genocide and living conditions of the Indians. Native Nations’ court was finally given due acknowledgement by the U.S. courts.
The sovereignty accorded to Native Nations allows them to establish own laws to regulate citizens and protect their own lands. States may outlaw gaming for its citizens but it cannot prohibit tribal nations to do the same even if they are a part of the state’s boundary. The tribal Indian casino success emanates from that sovereignty. Indians are allowed to operate casino in states where it is prohibited.