Column: Looking Shakopee Tribe's gift in the eye

"Good deeds, such as the Shakopee tribe's gift to the University of Minnesota's new football stadium, deserve not be punished. No, they should called what they are -- a generous manifestation of the gambling monopoly handed to indigenous tribes by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, then furthered in Minnesota by then-Attorney General Skip Humphrey in 1989, on the watch of a hands-off Gov. Rudy Perpich.

The largest single gift to the athletic department ($12.5 million) derives from those untaxed tribal gambling proceeds, much of it plucked from the poor, sort of a tax on down-on-their-luck jackpot-dreamers and gamblers of babies' shoes and the rent money. Choices are being made, perhaps pathologically for some, afflicted with an urge to win or to escape reality in a clockless casino where the house always wins; that's guaranteed.

The Star Tribune's editorial ("Shakopee tribes' gift is jackpot for U," Oct. 22) exclaims, without foreboding or a hint of shame, that it's "unfortunate that some critics have used the [Shakopee tribes' gift] to reignite debate over non-Indian gambling in Minnesota." What?

Debate is usually a good thing. Truth tends to emerge, if it's lucky. Don't look now, but the Mdewakanton Sioux Community's tax-free casino monopoly in the Twin Cities is maintained by politicians of a certain stripe."

Get the Story:
Gary Larson: Look at the monopoly that enabled the gift (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 10/25)

Relevant Links:
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community -

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