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Fred Dakota, ‘Grandfather of Indian Gaming,’ Dies at Age 84

Posted on: September 15, 2021, 01:05h. 
Closing up to date on: September 15, 2021, 05:25h.

Philip Conneller Learn Extra

Fred Dakota, former chair of Michigan’s Keweenaw Bay Indian Group (KBIC), has died elderly 84. Dakota was once recognized by way of some as “the grandfather of Indian gaming” for his DIY on line casino operations and ensuing criminal battles.

Fred Dakota, pictured, took at the would possibly of the government and misplaced. However his movements cleared the path for a multibillion-dollar trade. (Symbol: KBIC)

Within the Nineteen Eighties, the daddy of 5, who by no means made it previous 8th grade, took at the federal govt in courtroom over the fitting of Michigan tribes to control playing actions on their sovereign land.
In keeping with the tribe, Dakota died Monday at his house in Baraga in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula.
His tale is instructed intimately in an interview Dakota gave to My North in 2014.
Indigenous Gaming Pioneer
In 1976, america Ideally suited Courtroom dominated that states didn’t have the authority to tax tribes on reservations or to control their actions, supplied the ones actions weren’t unlawful beneath state legislation. This spurred many tribes in states throughout america to ascertain bingo operations.

In 1980, with the purpose of opening their very own high-stakes bingo parlor, KBIC council participants established their very own bingo laws. Those have been to be licensed by way of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and written into the tribe’s charter. On the time, Dakota was once president and CEO of the tribe.

The council added on line casino gaming into the combination, too — simply to look what would occur. Understanding the BIA would take some time to reply, they added a provision that stipulated the request could be licensed inside of two weeks if the dep. took no motion. It didn’t disappoint.
Dakota would later argue in courtroom this gave the tribe the fitting to factor gaming licenses on its land.
Development The Pines
Dakota determined to take issues even additional. After studying that the state of Michigan accredited on line casino gaming for a restricted choice of charitable occasions, he was once beautiful positive that supposed he may just open his personal full-fledged on line casino. The remainder of the tribal council was once unconvinced, so he determined to move it by myself.

Armed with a newly minted KBIC gaming license and a $10,000 mortgage from the financial institution, he transformed his brother-in-law’s storage right into a on line casino, The Pines. He constructed the blackjack tables himself and purchased plastic chips from a neighborhood retailer. He and his spouse realized easy methods to deal the video games and ran the operation themselves.

The Pines was once an speedy hit, such a lot in order that by way of 1984 Dakota had leased land from the tribe and constructed a three,200-square-foot on line casino. However some participants of the tribal council disapproved of Dakota’s operations and referred to as america Lawyer Normal’s Place of work.
The case went to courtroom. Dakota’s argument was once that tribes had the fitting to control criminal actions and the KBIC had written laws for on line casino playing. And he had a on line casino license in accordance with the ones laws.
Paving the Manner
Dakota misplaced and the Pines was once close down. However perversely, the courtroom’s determination emboldened a number of different Michigan tribes to release on line casino operations.
A a very powerful a part of the decision was once that on line casino gaming was once handiest accredited beneath Michigan legislation for nonprofit organizations, now not non-public folks or firms. The tribes started to argue they have been nonprofit organizations.
Dakota appealed, unsuccessfully, and deliberate to take the case to america Ideally suited Courtroom. However he ran out of cash.
He may also had been a success within the easiest courtroom within the land. Only a few years later, the courtroom dominated in want of the Cabazon Band of Project Indians of California, which used the similar criminal reasoning relating to its proper to provide gaming.
Instructor and Elder
That call ended in the enactment of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which codified Local American gaming and safe a tribe’s proper to provide gaming on its sovereign land.
Dakota will have misplaced in courtroom, however his movements helped kickstart a multibillion-dollar trade.
He was once later elected tribal chairman, serving for two decades, and fought to ascertain the KBIC’s Ojibwa On line casino in Baraga.
In a remark, the tribe described him as a instructor and elder, a “passionate and brave chief who was once prepared to take dangers.”

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