Land reservations are the land parcels reserved for the Native American tribes that the American government of the 19th century drew out to facilitate a peaceful coexistence between the native Indians and the white settlers. In 1988, when the federal government allowed individual states to permit or prohibit gaming within the reservations, a controversy arose concerning the moral and economic justification of the decision. Gambling and casinos are a universal dilemma. In most cases, they have a mixture of benefits as well as pervasive results. Gambling, in particular, may have positive effects on a developing society in the short term. However, the practice of gambling may have adverse social and economic ramifications in the long term (Archer, 2005). Considering the repercussions of an excessively deep-rooted gambling culture in any society, I would object to the legalization of any gambling game within the United States territory, including Texas.
Gambling may be a conventional game to the native Indians and may serve to improve the state of the Indian affairs in Texas if executed within allowable limits. However, the gaming rules do not exclude people of different ethnic descent from gambling in the casinos or working in them. Most of the other ethnic groups or racial groups that involve themselves in the casino activities are of the European descent. These groups associate gambling with unlawful activities that have been the mainstay of European casino operators in much of the 20th century. In the end, the gambling games develop criminal tendencies incorporated directly into the games in the Indian casinos. Consequently, casinos attract people with histories of criminal activities. With time, organized and petty crime develops in the areas around casinos (Vere, 2004). The result is the increased criminal activities, such as drug use and trade, thievery and prostitution. In addition, the gambling culture, which ought to be a moderate activity, develops into an evil that affects the whole community. The consequences of such activities include individual and corporate bankruptcy since gambling has an addictive tendency. Moreover, funds that could have been used in constructive undertakings that provide significant amounts of revenue to the government are diverted into gambling activities, which provide relatively less earnings to the government (Vere, 2004).
The Tiguas’ Right to Re-Open Their Casino
In the case of the Tigua El Paso casino, only fifty of the eight hundred people employed by the casino system were of native ethnic descent. This insinuates that the casino did not benefit the Indians particularly, as the casino management argued. The justice system had enough reasons to close down the casino considering the long-term social and economic effects of gambling. In addition, it is difficult to establish the revenue distribution that the casino management claimed to produce. Furthermore, the Tigua nation is a subject to the state of Texas law unlike other ethnic groups that are under the federal protection. In this essence, the Tiguas had to obey the state laws, which did not allow the type of activity that the casino perpetuated regardless of the economic benefits (Corntassel & Witmer, 2008).
Allowing the Tigua to run gambling activities may in the long run provide a justification to other people to engage in excessive gambling. In addition, treating the Tigua nation as an autonomous state with different laws and rights would be a breach of the federal and the state law. Moreover, the recognition of the Tigua nation is ideally limited to cultural heritage and ethnic identity, which does not include pervasive activities for the financial gain. The Tiguas have tried to obtain the permit to reopen the casinos through the Congress to no avail. Furthermore, the Tigua nation cannot justify the relevance of gambling to cultural or ethnic nationhood and should seek other capital generating activities than gambling. In this regard, the Tigua casino in El Paso should remain closed.