December 08, 2007

Seminoles under the microscope

Federal watchdog examines Seminoles' gambling profitsA team from the National Indian Gaming Commission arrived this week at the headquarters of the Seminole Tribe as part of an ongoing investigation into the tribe's spending of gambling profits.

The review will also examine findings uncovered in a South Florida Sun-Sentinel series published last week, said Phil Hogen, chairman of the commission, which regulates how tribes spend gambling profits.
Possible corruption in a gaming tribe isn't what I'd call a pop-cultural issue. But the following letter puts a spin on it that makes it relevant to this blog.

Why single out Seminole leader for spending questions?I think it's ironic and a little sad that the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a half-page spread (picture) of the Seminole Tribe chairman's home. It looks to me like it is a fairly modest home with a metal roof. The Sun-Sentinel is aghast that he should live in such "splendor." It's adjacent to a truck parking lot and has no water view.

Mitchell Cypress is the chairman of a billion-dollar corporation. I don't see you running pictures of the chairmen of Exxon or IBM or Home Depot and their palatial mansions. They take home millions/billions, and some have homes in five countries. If Mitchell Cypress were white, you would not have run this yellow journalism.
Comment:  For some background on the subject, see The Facts About Indian Gaming.


dmarks said...

I don't agree with the comparison to Exxon/etc leaders. Those leaders are private sector. Michell Cypress' home should be compared (if at all) to how other government leaders live.

Rob said...

Tribal casinos have aspects of both government and business. Proving the point, court rulings have come down on both sides of whether to treat a tribal casino like a business or not.

I'm pretty sure corporate executives are bound by law to maximize the wealth of their companies, not themselves. They're arguably violating the law just as the Seminole leaders are arguably violating the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).