It all started in 1978 when Congress proposed legislation that would give federally recognized tribes the right to conduct gambling on their reservations. Most tribal leaders were elated. They counted dollar signs in their dreams, even though a few straight thinkers warned them of trouble to come.
The legislation was gently-worded, but the devil was in the details. It was pointed out to tribal leaders that the legislation required that if a tribe wanted to operate games of chance, they would have to give up part of their sovereignty to the state wherein the gambling would take place. "No worries," said the tribal leaders. Another innocently-worded clause required them to negotiate a "compact," or a contract, that would control how they operated their "gaming," with that same state.
Again, "No worries," they said, as dollar signs flooded their minds. "We can take care of ourselves." Yeah, sure you can.