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Gaming in Alaska
by Michael Nelson


July 30, 2004

I read Randy Williams' letter regarding gaming in Alaska. I agree with Randy that gaming is a huge source of revenue for Natives in the lower 48 states, but gaming does come at a cost. A friend of mine in Las Vegas once remarked to me that "Las Vegas was not built because of winners, but because of losers."

The same can be said for the increase of wealth experienced by lower 48 Natives. The sudden windfalls of money are not the result of successful stock investments, timber sales or other investment strategies, but they are because a number of people, hoping to win a lot of money, did not.

For all the benefits that are reaped by Natives in the lower 48 states, there is also the heartache and despair that is experienced by those who have an addiction problem, in some cases, people spend their rent checks, money for food, money for clothing, etc. and when there is nothing left, they are broken down in spirit and they go home. Maybe.....the next time, they will hit it big and get their money back....maybe....but probably not.

I write this with heartache as a Sealaska shareholder. I do not want to engage in a war of words with anyone, I just wanted to share what was on my heart. Gaming will probably always go on and maybe some day, Sealaska will be a major player in Alaskan gaming, I don't know? I suppose if that does happen, I would want to know what percentage of my Sealaska dividend was the result of gaming, and I would donate that amount to a food bank to help those less fortunate.

Michael Nelson
Oakton, VA - USA


Related Viewpoint:

Alaska, Is It Time For Gaming? by Randy Williams - Lake Stevens, WA - USA



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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.



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