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Native American Casino Gambling Essay

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What role does casino gambling play in Native American society? Is this an example of assimilation or a solution to poverty on reservations? Explain and ground your answer using statistical data or published research. Gaming revenues for Native Americans have greatly increased since the passage of the Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988 (Anderson, 2013). The rise has been especially steady over the last 10 years, even with the bad economy, as the revenue went from $22.6 billion in 2005 to $28.5 in 2014 (NIGC, 2015). Many in society think Native Americans are getting rich and are in much better shape because of these casinos. Some studies even how tribes are in much better shape. The Great Smoky Mountains Study showed a $6,000 increase…show more content…
Mike Justice, a member of the Siletz tribe in Oregon, is jobless and lives with his recovering addict wife and son (The Economist, 2015). He could work at the tribe’s casino, but instead collects welfare payments and $1,200 yearly from the casino per capita payments (The Economist, 2015). The minimum wage he would make at the casino would barely pay for the transportation costs, since Justice has no vehicle, so he would rather not work and collect money (The Economist, 2015). This is a growing problem and a newer study in the American Indian Law Journal of 24 tribes in the Pacific North-West shows that growing casino revenues can actually make poverty worse as poverty rose from 25% to 29% from 2000 to 2010(The Economist, 2015). Of the 17 tribes in the study that paid directly to tribe members, poverty rose in ten of them (The Economist, 2015). Why the rise in poverty? One reason is the way the money is distributed. The more an individual is paid, the more he has the desire not to work (The Economist, 2015). Obesity, poor health, drug abuse, and alcoholism are already problems and without health insurance, from not working, these problems get much
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