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Gambling On Indian Reservations: The Hope For A Nation

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Gambling On Indian Reservations: The Hope For A Nation

About thirty miles off the highway and down a dirt road, you'll see the silhouette of a woman inside her house. She is exhausted, staring as the dust from the dirt floor mixes with the sunlight flowing through the holes the walls. She looks around and knows her life is in shambles. Her house is nothing more than rotting boards and rusted metal roofing. She has no electricity or indoor plumbing. Her only furniture is a moth-eaten couch and two old mattresses sprawled across the floor. Every day she must go to the river four miles from her house. Here she gets her drinking water and does the laundry. The neighbor children will follow her and play games. They are wearing nothing but tattered oversized clothes and holey shoes. She wishes she could do something to help her tribe, but they have no money. Most of her people are out of work. It's hard to find work near the reservation, for the land is barren and unworkable. To find work they must travel to the next town which is more than forty miles away, and without any means of transportation they have no way to get there. They're trapped, destined to live forever in poverty. They have no hope.

This woman's hopelessness isn't unlike what many Native American tribes encounter today. The 1990 U.S. Census showed that 30.9% of all Indians live in poverty. To this day, their unemployment rate is of...

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...g electricity and indoor plumbing for the first time. They are able to build schools, hospitals, and roads. "Welfare cost . . . [has] dropped 26% over three years" (American, online). This huge drop in welfare is saving the states taxpayers $470,000 (American, online). This nation that was once costing the government thousands is now producing nearly $18 million dollars in state income taxes (American, online).

Overall, casinos are helping. They're helping the government by cutting welfare and producing income tax, helping the Indian people break out of poverty and hardship, and helping the surrounding community to prosper and create jobs. The Indian community now has hope, and that hope is gambling.
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