Indian gambling casinos

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Dec 9 17:39:25 MST 2002

>I disagree with Louis' assessment of the motive behind this story, even if
>it fails to question the relationship between Indians and the U.S. state in
>a fundamental way. I'm unclear why revealing the exploitation of "a corrupt
>internal 3rd world colony" in the U.S. mostly for the benefit of rich
>non-Native investors bothers Louis so much.

It bothers me because it presents no alternative to the current rotten
system. Time Magazine always used to run stories on how corrupt Papa Doc
Duvalier was, which was like shooting fish in a barrel.

Time Magazine is a prime outlet for anti-Indian hatred in the USA. It has
always found excuses for grave robbers such as those who wanted to examine
the Kennewick skeleton no matter what the Umatilla thought. It celebrated
the colonists Lewis and Clark and belittles land claims of people like the
Seneca, etc. That is why I suspect their motives. The average Time reader
will not take the trouble to distinguish between those Indians being
victimized by the casinos or those benefiting from them. That's the problem.

>The Mohegan Sun replicates the outrageous sensibility of Sun City. Its
>profitability is equally immoderate. This year it became Connecticut's and
>Indian country's second billion-dollar casino (after Foxwoods) when annual
>revenue hit 10 figures.

It is really up to Indians to clean up this situation, not the Luce press.
Jim Craven and people he works with knew all about the casinos years ago.

On 29 Oct 98 at 8:03, James Devine wrote:

 > I can see the downside of Indian gambling casios _compared to_ say, a
 > rational investment policy for the reservations involving education,
 > improved technology, and the like (I'll let the Indians decide what they
 > need here). But this doesn't tell me whether or not I should vote for the
 > California initiative (I think it's Prop. 5) concerning this issue. What do
 > you think?
 > I think it would do Cockburn good to live on a reservation for a week.
 > Jim Devine jdevine at &

Hi Jim,

You know I just don't know how to answer this; I don't know the
specifics of the initiative in California. When we had the same kind
of initiative in Washington (I'm assuming it is about pro or
anti-Indian gaming) I voted against Indian gaming. This was a very
painful decision for me personally because it was supported by the

Aiding and abetting the genocide are the "Indian" powers-that-be
themselves. I am on the phone every single day for two hours a day
with the Reservation at Browning. The whole place is imploding and
some dissidents, of which I am one, are carefully documenting a whole
host of horrible crimes (murders in the Tribal jail, severe beatings
of the children of dissidents, massive payoffs to members of the
Tribal Council, rampant nepotism and cronyism, murder threats and
atempted murder, summary firings of anyone with a conscience etc
etc). And this is not only going on at Browning, I have close friends
among other Nations who give the same stories. When people are on the
brink of extinction all sorts of forms of desperation, corruption and
evil are possible including by Indians against Indians.

Right now two Canadian oil companies are vying for rights to oil and
minerals at Browning and in Alberta and the competition is intense
(very oil-rich and mineral-rich lands) and payoffs, so-called
"consultants" and all sorts of inducements are being applied to the
powers-that-be heavy duty.

There is no hope except not only true Sovereignty but also, there is
no hope without elimination of all forms of corruption and those who
practice them--I don't mean killing them, I mean removing them from
any positions of influence--so that the outsiders, the non-Indians
have nothing to work with--you can't buy what's not for sale.
Although the gaming monies are desperately needed, they are not going
where they are most needed anyway. Plus, the gaming revenues act like
methadon does for someone on heroin withdrawal--they substitute
another form of Nation-destroying dependency and addiction. This is
why the Makah for example, refused to put in a casino when the U.S.
Air Force left Neah Bay and they lost over half their revenue base;
and this is why the Makah want to resume whaling--to provide not only
for traditional diets but also to produce handicrafts made from whale

It is a sad commentary that something like gaming is seen as a
necessary and viable source of revenues for Indian survival. The
really rich people do not go to Indian casinos to gamble--you know
where they go--so most of the non-Indians who go to the casinos are
working class or middle class and gaming also acts like a hope-tax on
the people on the margins--Indian and non-Indian--sort of like the
State lotteries. Many of the Indian casinos that were started with
large capital outlays in the hope of generating long-term streams of
revenues are now languising as any initial profit opportunities
signal new entrants wiping out any long-term profit potentials
(market saturation) quickly. After the initial euphoria, the Indian
casinos quickly find themselves with declining revenues coupled with
substantial fixed costs and maintence cost commitments. There are
exceptions of course, but these casinos are simply not the panacea
that was hoped for.

And just like the gamblers who go to the casinos, who lose and keep
putting money in to "break even" before going home, "the odds are with
the house"--only in this case, the non-Indian powers-that-be, the
investors, the developers with their eyes on acquiring assets of
failed enterprises are "the house" and the Indian casinos are the
poor gambler looking to "break even" as "bad luck must turn around if
I play this slot or at this table long enough".

As for Mr. Cockburn, I have a perfect place for him to stay in mind.
It is the HUD home of a Blackfoot Elder who has severe diabetes as he
was forced on a non-Indian diet many years ago when he was in a
Boarding School, there are holes in the roof and all of the walls so
that when the winter winds come from the Rockies no amoung of
internal heating will keep you worn, the house is full of asbestos
which he can't get removed after repeated protests--the house was
built with HUD money at a time when asbestos-based materials were
used in Indian housing but had been banned in non-Indian housing, and
his house is way out of town so that if Mr. Cockburn gets sick, well
it will take a little time to get him to the Indian Health Service
Clinic where people are forced to treat all sorts of problems with
primitive clinical equipment and skills--and he will have to wait in
very long lines because the Clinic is seeing many people with severe
problems that have accumulated over years of neglect. Then we'll go
out to one of the many taverns (all but one owned by non-Blackfoot)
and he can take part in some of the Saturday night festivities and
hope he doesn't wind up dead or left laying frozen in the snow. Then
maybe well do something to get us arrested so that he can experience
some true hospitality--the usual kind--that the Tribal Police give
out in the Tribal jail. Then perhaps we could take him to talk to
some of these non-Indian "consultants" who are prowling all over the
reservation (they stay in nice hotels in Great Falls and Calgary) and
talk to them about what they really intend for the Blackfoot
Reservation and People.  Then a trip up to the sacred lands, to talk
with Elders about what life used to be like, to share in the
traditional diets and songs and rituals  and talk  about what the Blackfoot
values of the Nation  and People used to be and what problems in
non-Indian societies could be attacked if those traditional Blackfoot
values were in place in non-Indian societies.

Off to class; now I'm into the important stuff--general equilibria,
the supremacy of the market in ensuring consumer choice, product
diversity, jobs, incomes, prosperity, progress, civilization,
efficiency, enhancement of the natural environment, freedom,
democracy, decency... But everyonce in awhile the savage slips in and
I ask the class to actually question the book and question
authority--including "authorities" like Mr. Cockburn--on the "left".

Jim Craven

  James Craven
  Dept. of Economics,Clark College
  1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd. Vancouver, WA. 98663
  jcraven at; Tel: (360) 992-2283 Fax: 992-2863
"The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards Indians; their land
property shall never be taken from them without their consent."
(Northwest Ordinance, 1787, Ratified by Congress 1789)

Those who take the meat from the table,
teach contentment.
Those for whom the taxes are destined,
demand sacrifice.
Those who eat their fill, speak to the hungry,
of wonderful times to come.
Those who lead the country into the abyss,
call ruling difficult,
for ordinary folk.
(Bertolt Brecht)

*My Employer  has no association with My Private and Protected Opinion*

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