Florida gives Seminoles unjustifiable advantage over pari-mutuel casinos .
Why do Florida and the Feds continue to give gargantuan financial benefits to the Seminole Tribe?
Reasonable minds could agree that some form of reparations could be paid for the destructive effects of the First and Second Seminole Wars. Others disagree, saying that in the first Seminole War, these Native Americans brought U.S. retaliation on themselves because they supported the British in the War of 1812, when they traded weapons with the British and raided Georgia settlements as allies of the Spanish.
Whatever. It is 2011, 150 years later, and I can’t think of any group that is less needy than the Seminole Indians.
In 2007 and 2008, eight Native American gambling casinos in Florida generated $3.5 billion in revenue. The Seminole Tribe owns seven of these casinos, three of which are in Broward. Recent reports estimate that there are about 3,200 Seminole Indians in Florida. Counting their other revenues from farming, crafts sales, bingo and tourism, each Seminole Tribe member per capita earns megabucks each year. Each member receives a check each month from the Tribe. In addition, according to the Sun Sentinel, the tribe receives tens of millions annually in government aid. Meanwhile, as the Seminoles are raking in billions of dollars each year from gambling, the Justice Department and the Environmental Protection Agency give them grant money to buy airboats, computer equipment and laptops, hire more police officers, build roads, pay for nutrition programs and to hire a “recycling coordinator.”