High Court green lights Indian casino case

June 18, 2012 2:06 pm

The U.S. Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit to go forward by a Michigan man who challenged the legality of opening an Indian casino.

It is a surprise ruling considering the casino is now open. The case could have a broader impact on efforts by other tribes to build casinos.

David Patchak alleged the casino would divert medical resources from residents, increase crime and contribute to air, noise and water pollution. The suit says the casino would destroy the area’s rural character, diminish property values and sully the local scenery.

One could argue a similar impact from almost every casino in the country.

But the difference in this case is that the Indian tribe that owns the casino was not recognized when the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 was passed. Patchak sued to stop the opening of a casino by the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe, located 20 miles south of Grand Rapids, Mich. He challenged how the government placed the land in trust for the tribe, saying that the move was illegal since the tribe had not been recognized by the government in 1934.

The Supreme Court ruling means Patchak’s suit can move forward in the lower courts. That likely means several more years of litigation and costly legal fees before a final ruling is reached.

The addicitve nature of the lottery

December 16, 2011 9:06 am

Here’s a sad case that shows the dirty secret of how the state sale of lottery tickets can be addicitve and destroys lives. A Michigan bookkeeper was charged with embezzling $110,000 from an electric company in Pontiac over the past year.

The Sheriff’s Office began investigating the allegations after the owner of Moote Electric filed the complaint in November. They determined the money was used to purchase lottery tickets by an employee who worked at the company for 12 years.

Steve Sharrard, 47, was charged with embezzling. He faces up to 20 years in prison. All because he was hooked on lottery tickets, a predatory and regressive form of taxation that almost every state owns and promotes.