1988, the United States of America Federal Government officially
authorized gambling on Native American lands. Thus, the Indian Casino
was born. This was a great boon for many tribes, and none more than
the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe in Ledyard, Connecticut. They opened
the Foxwoods casino in 1992 and it is now the largest and the most
profitable casino in the world. The 5,500 slot machines alone bring
in over $1.8 million a day in earnings! The property has over 300,000
square feet of gaming space and over 12,000 employees.
The Foxwoods Indian Casino may be the superstar among Indian Casinos
but there are about 200 others across the United States. This is
amazing given that in 1988 there were only 70. In order to have
gambling, almost all Indian Casinos have worked out a compact with
the government of the state in which they are located. (California
has no compact and is embroiled in various legal wrangles about
compacts often lead to limited forms of gambling within each state.
Some Indian Casinos are allowed only slot machines while others
can offer only card games; many are restricted from having dice
or roulette wheels; some must have a "player" bank all the games
(which usually means the game is played normally but with a commission
taken out of your bet - not a good deal for a smart gambler); some
allow video slot machines, but not ones with actual reels. Some
Indian Casinos will have all the offerings and polish of a decent
Vegas casino; others will seem like glorified, smoky card rooms.
It also pays to make a phone call or read a travel book before you
assume any casino (including gambling boats, cruise ships and main
stream destinations) has what you're seeking. But you may be pleasantly
surprised to find an Indian Casino not far from you that has the
action you seek.