Unfriendly Competition to Ruin Indian Casinos?

We have all heard and read about how Native American tribes have been very active in the casino industry in the recent years. This is indeed a good thing as the tribes, who used to have to fight poverty, have found a way to make a good source of living. However, based on the observable trends in tribal gambling growth in California, it seems that unfriendly competition may be the result.

According to Edward Sifuentes of NCTimes.com:

Most recently, the Pala Band of Mission Indians near Fallbrook contributed $500,000 to support a ballot initiative that seeks to overturn the deals that allow four other tribes, including the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians near Temecula, to get more slot machines.

The Rincon Band of Mission Indians in Valley Center is suing the governor, charging that his administration sought to impose what Rincon called unfair fees to increase the number of slot machines. The fees were similar to the ones Pala and four other tribes agreed to in negotiations with the state.

The infighting could hurt tribes’ public image, said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College.

I couldn’t agree more. However, more than the public image, I think that this sort of infighting could lead to other troubles. Having to focus on putting down other tribal gambling activities could actually distract the individual tribes from their more “mundane” task of running their casinos. We all know to what end that would bring the affected tribes. More so, all this legal activity would merely tie up the courts which have jurisdiction over the tribes and their casinos. Now I may be being simplistic but I don’t know any other way to interpret what is going on. Do you?

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