Native Americans, if not all of the U.S. public. This could be achieved via federal
administration of a Gambling Proceeds Trust Fund financed by Native American
gambling operations while they are phased out to become educational and technological
facilities.
.............In 2000 it was reported that "[d]espite an explosion of Indian gambling revenuesfrom
$100 million in 1988 to $8.26 billion a decade later [1998]-an Associated Press
[AP] computer analysis of federal unemployment, poverty and public-assistance records
indicates the majority of American Indians have benefited little." Between 1988 and
1998 “poverty and unemployment rates changed little,” as exemplified by the Fort
Mojave Indian Reservation, where despite two casinos, the Native American
"unemployment rate climbed from 27.2 percent in 1991 to 74.2 percent in 1997." This
development was attributed to the fact that "among the 130 tribes with casinos, a few
near major population centers have thrived while most others make just enough to cover
the bills." In addition, any "new jobs [created by the Indian gambling facilities] have not
reduced unemployment for Indians." David Pace, Casino Boom a Bust for Most
Members of Indian Tribes
, NEWS-GAZETTE (Champaign, Ill.), Sept. 2, 2000, at A1.
According to the National Indian Gaming Association, the lack of net new jobs for
Indians was because "75 percent of jobs in tribal casinos are held by non-Indians."
Unexpectedly, the 55 tribes with casinos before 1992 had their 1991 unemployment rate
of 54 percent even increase somewhat to 54.4 percent by 1997. For an extensive
investigative report highlighting the problems of Native American gambling activities,
see Donald L. Bartlett & James B. Steele, Look Who's Cashing In At Indian Casinos:
Wheel of Misfortune
, TIME, Dec. 14, 2002, at 44 (cover story).
.............These situations were exacerbated by illusory accounting standards that resulted
in some tribal members with exorbitant wealth while most Native Americans remained
disenfranchised. The tribes also claimed to have sovereign immunity from general
federal statutes like those involving labor rules, sexual harassment, equal employment
opportunity, and tortious acts. As reported in the Wall Street Journal and as most
disconcerting to Congressional leaders were the indications involving alleged organized
crime activities. The concerns among the U.S. Representatives were exemplified by
Representative Chris Shays (R-Conn.) and Representative Frank Wolf (R-Va.) who
highlighted these in a letter to President Clinton.