Seminole Tribe's Business Moves Bring Change, Cultural Awareness

By: AP edited by Harrison Hove Email
By: AP edited by Harrison Hove Email

BIG CYPRESS SEMINOLE INDIAN RESERVATION, Fla. (AP) _ The Seminole Tribe of Florida fought the U.S. Army in the 1800s and resisted forced migration to Oklahoma. A century later, they rescued themselves from poverty by becoming the first tribe to venture into the gambling business.

Now is the time for an ambitious new challenge; being the first American Indian tribe to buy a global company.

The Seminoles finished their $965 million dollar purchase of Hard Rock International's restaurants, hotels and related businesses from U.K. based The Rank Group PLC on March Fifth.

Its 3,300 members are now in the position to add to their already impressive wealth.

But the acquisition also speaks to something deeper, a respect for an ancestry of "unconquered warriors'' whose kin are motivated by history and preserving their culture.

American Indian tribes are profiting from gambling, and Florida is where it all began.

The Seminoles became the first U.S. tribe to offer high stakes gambling in 1979, when they opened a bingo hall in Hollywood, Florida.

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