An interesting New York Times article regarding tribe gaming and current thoughts on tribal off-reservation gaming and strategies for tribe Internet enterprises:
“… still, he was worried that the good times would not last. With the state eager to get a greater share of gambling revenues, Mr. Hoffman said he believed that other forms of non-Indian gambling, particularly online operations, could become legal. “I don’t think the tribes 20 years from now will still have an oligopoly on gaming,” he said.
More from the NY Times piece, “Since Indian gambling was legalized in the United States in 1988, only five tribes have gotten final clearance to build casinos off their reservations. The intense campaign against Enterprise and the other applicant, the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, comes as the gambling market has grown crowded, especially here in California.
Opposing tribes accuse the newcomers of encroaching on areas to which they have no historical ties. “We have other tribes out there doing what we call reservation shopping,” said Brenda Adams, the treasurer of United Auburn. “We played by the rules. We had to stay on our historical lands. They call it equal footing, but is it? We’d like to have a casino in downtown San Francisco, but that’s not our territory.”
“The tribe, which used to oppose the off-reservation casinos but is now publicly neutral, has felt the need to diversity beyond gambling. “Too many eggs in one basket is probably not a good thing,” said Marshall McKay, the tribal chairman.”
Personally, I wonder why should tribes have to wait for a state governor to give them permission to participate in revenue generating businesses that benefit tribe members. Who needs off-reservation enterprises when the Internet can be employed? These businesses could be focused on a multitude of niches including financial services, education, insurance, online poker, buying and selling bulk commodity chemicals, polymers and fuel products…
The game for the tribes is on! It’s time to implement whatever current business advantages they can identify before the game changes again.
Here is the link to the original New York Times Article. Lucrative Gambling Pits Tribe Against Tribe.