Native American Tribes Join Forces to Face Up to Economic Downturn

Native American Tribes Join Forces to Face Up to Economic DownturnTwo of the largest land based casinos in the United States are owned by Native American tribes. Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut is the largest casino in the United States. It is owned by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and was opened in 1986. The United States’ second largest casino, the Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan tribe was opened in 1996.
The casinos are situated only seven miles from each other in the south east of Connecticut. Until recently both tribes tended to keep matters concerning their respective casinos to themselves. However, now with the economic situation in the United States impacting on business, the chairmen of both casinos have started to speak out as one on topics affecting  their casinos.The situation concerning Native American gambling was looked at in the 1970s. Then in 1983 the Supreme Court decided that gambling in casinos on Native American reservations would not be under the control of the state in which the casino was operated.
It ruled that these casinos would be under the control of the federal government. It is thought that there are about 400 Native American run casinos in the United States and the Foxwoods Casino Resort and the Mohegan Sun are the most successful of these. Foxwoods Casino has over 70 000 slot machines and 380 gaming tables including 76 poker tables. The Mohegan Sun has  over 3000 slot machines and 180 table games. Both casinos have vast areas given over to leisure activities and include hotels, restaurants, shops, spas, sports facilities and entertainment venues. The state of Connecticut benefits from a tax of 25% of the casinos’ income.In 2012 the chairmen of both casinos cemented their friendship when Rodney Butler of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe invited Bruce Bozsum of the Mohegan tribe to an annual commemoration of the killing of 150 members of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe by the Mohegan tribe and their associates in 1637. This was the first such invitation. The friendship between the two chairmen now includes coming together on matters concerning both casinos especially as revenue in both is affected by the economic situation and new casinos in neighbouring states. So far they have gained concessions from the governor on allowances to support promotions in the casinos and also a reduction in the cost to them for security services.

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