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Tribal Sovereignty and NA Casino oversight

Published:

Last Edited: July 8, 2005, 10:45 am

The ambiguities of tribal sovereignty, the difficulties thereby created for State regulatory scrutiny of Native American casinos (at least, in NM, but likely also in other jurisdictions) create a target-rich environment for house cheating on all games without fear of being snagged.  Players would be well advised to recognize this fact and watch carefully what happens around them.

The following 'poem' describes an event as it actually happened in a casino in New Mexico.  I was sitting at that single-deck blackjack table, $3 minimum, $75 table max.  The names of the casinos in the poem are changed, naturally.  NM casinos are NA owned, but Rocco manages them, if you get my meaning.

Jack

 

 

 

Familiar Spirits

Arroyo Seco fortune shifted
First hand after Mary,
Toothless Navajo vieja,
Wrinkles doubled under weight
Of  old pawn turquoise
And silver squash blossom
Groaned into second base
3 dollar minimum
Single deck felt
Behind her walker 

Plunked down three white chips
 
Cards turned

Three green button table max,
Weathered gamblers
Plus Mary and the dealer
All drew blackjacks in a single hand
 
"Ha."  Steel grip on walker
Hand raised in 'How!' salute:

"Ha!"  Plowed brown field surrounds
Frozen narrowed slits of eye

Players, dealer, pit-boss, hangers on
Transfixed on sunlight shaft
In silent forest
Only birdsong
Slot machines
Endure
 
"The tables have an evil spirit!"
 
Chairs emptied
Puzzled drink server
Stands with tray
Two cokes and one black coffee
Vacant gazing search
For missing thirst

Superstitious 
Laguna, Navajo, Acoma,
Mexican and white
Play down the road at Desert Fox
 
Although they've burned sage
Purged the evil
Cleansed the spirits

No dice
 
Four aces only
In an unenlightened
Single deck

 

From Poems of the New Old West

Copyright 2002, Jack Purcell

 

 

 

 

 

Entry #126

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