September 28, 2008

Seminoles have gaming "disease"

'Rez disease' of alcohol, drugs is deadly among Seminole youth

Alcohol-involved crashes, drug overdoses, suicide claim alarming number of young SeminolesFor young members of the Seminole Tribe, this should be the best of times.

With annual revenues from casinos and other businesses that have topped $1.4 billion, the tribe provides each of its 3,300 members with an income of about $120,000 a year, a free education and a guaranteed job. And many college-educated Seminoles are coming home to work in the tribe's Hollywood headquarters.

Despite these positive developments, young Seminoles die at an alarming rate from drug overdoses, alcohol-involved car crashes and suicide.

Of 17 Seminole deaths recorded so far in 2008, 11—or about 65 percent—have been linked to drug or alcohol abuse, according to figures obtained by the Sun Sentinel.
Comment:  I suspect most gaming tribes have longer lifespans since the advent of Indian casinos. But I've always said that tribes should be careful about doling out gaming revenues to their members. Giving people free money often doesn't work out well.

For more on the subject, see The Facts About Indian Gaming.

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