Las Vegas Eyes Indian Gaming Casinos
By JOAN WHITELY, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Published: May 30, 2007
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Picture a luxury sedan, tooling peacefully down the highway. That would be the U.S. commercial casino industry, with 2005 gross revenues of almost $30 billion.
But what about the tricked-out, turbocharged pickup in the sedan’s rearview mirror, closing in quickly? That would be Indian gambling, which pulled down almost $23 billion in gross revenues in 2005, according to statistics compiled by Los Angeles economist Alan Meister.
Once dismissed for running second-rate rural bingo halls inside big tents, gambling tribes in the past decade have dramatically narrowed the gap on commercial casino operators.
But gambling also disrupts tribes, says Gover, who was assistant secretary for Indian affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior from 1997 to 2001.
Disputes about who belongs to a tribe, let alone who should lead it, now get attention.
The size of a tribe affects the size of payouts, if a tribe is distributing some of its gambling profits to individual members. About one-third of gambling tribes do so, according to 2001 data from the National Indian Gaming Commission, a federal regulatory agency.
“Before, who cared what your share of nothing is?” Gover says. “I think the pace of these disenrollments has picked up.”
Disenrollment is the review process by which a tribe decides that a person who has claimed membership does not qualify.
Yes, those who have been disenrolled at Pechanga Reservation in Temecula, CA were members when there was NOTHING but the land. The concerned Pechanga People were the greedy ones, and many aren't even Pechanga. Why should California support a nation like that...