American Indian Tribe Casino earns Each Member $1M Annually

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Many stories involving American Indian tribe casinos don't exactly paint a flattering picture. In fact, many of these establishments are accused of everything from not treating customers fairly to failing to honor big jackpot payouts - all because they govern themselves.

However, the truth is that these stories aren't representative of the entire Indian casino community. Going further, some Indian tribes such as the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community (SMSC) have been very generous with their success and wealth. Here's a closer look at the story of this South Dakota-based tribe along with how each SMSC member is collecting a fortune through casino profits.

From Rags to Riches

Like many American Indian tribes, the Shakopee people have dealt with a lot of hardship over the last century. Their land was taken following the US-Dakota War of 1862, and their difficulties continued until the 1969 Indian New Deal treaty, which returned some land to South Dakota tribes along with self-governing rights.

The latter is very important because it eventually enabled the SMSC to build the Mystic Lake Casino and Little Six Casino - both around 45 minutes southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Today these casinos bring in $1.4 billion in annual revenue to the 480-person tribe. When profits are taken out, each Shakopee member receives an annual $1.08 million payout.

The massive profits have enabled the tribe to indulge in numerous luxuries such as fancy cars, mansions and lavish vacations. But the SMSC isn't just about showering themselves with expensive gifts since they also enjoy spreading their wealth around to those less fortunate too.

Generous People

The Shakopee are very grateful for their wealth and have made a habit of giving back to others. For starters, they have donated almost $500 million to fellow Indian tribes that have struggled in recent times. The SMSC have also given around $245 million to certain causes such as improving the University of Minnesota.

SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks discussed the tribe's generosity by saying, "As Dakota people, we have a long tradition of sharing with others, so it is important for us to give back to the larger community. Before Indian gaming, many of us lived in poverty and struggled to survive. Times were hard - now we are able to help others."

Seeing as how they're willing to share their wealth, hopefully the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community continues to experience success in future casino endeavors.