They say you have to work hard and chase your dreams, but if you belong to the wealthiest Native American Tribe in the world, you can sleep through life and still live in luxury. But why are Seminole Indians that rich?
Seminole Indians are rich because of the agreement between casino distributors. Every Seminole child is born a multi-millionaire. By the time they reach 18, they get access to their money.
Who are the Seminole Indians?
The Seminole tribe is a North American Indian tribe that speaks Muskogean. Their ancestors were migrants from southern Georgia’s Creek towns that went into northern Florida’s former Apalachee and Timucua territories in the latter part of the 18th century.
By around 1775, those migrants had adopted the name Seminole, most likely derived from the Creek word simanó-li, which means separatist or runaway. The name could alternatively be derived from the Spanish word cimarrón, which means wild.
The Seminoles established their new settlements in the Everglades, a patchwork of impenetrable thickets and ponds protecting outsiders. They were joined by individuals who had fled slavery—Africans, African Americans, and American Indians.
The Seminole economy was based on hunting, fishing, and foraging for wild foods such as nuts and berries; they planted maize, beans, squash, melons, and other produce on the high ground inside the wetlands.
Around 1838, the Seminoles were forced to relocate to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, placed in the western half of the Creek reservation. Only a few Seminoles remained in Florida.
The Seminoles became one of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma, including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, and Choctaw. They were all forcibly transported from the southeastern United States by the federal government.
Estimates from the early twenty-first century put the Seminole population at around 27,000 people. Source: Britannica)
The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc.
Some analysts have the Seminole Tribe of Florida, valued at several billion dollars, has become the first American Indian tribe to be classified as a bullish corporation. More than 30 years ago, the Seminoles of Florida were the first American Indian tribe to build a casino on Indian soil. Because of their success, they are frequently approached by outside investors asking the country to make a casino on the Las Vegas Strip. (Source: Indian Country Today)
The establishment of the first smoke shop in 1977 provided the Seminoles with a steady enterprise that continues to generate significant cash for the Tribe to this day. The Tribe’s first high-stakes bingo hall opened in Hollywood shortly after community leader James Billie was elected Tribal Council Chairman for the first time. It was a national first.
The Seminole casino industry’s success in overcoming legal objections paved the way for dozens of other American Indian tribes to follow suit. Today, gaming is by far the most profitable economic venture in Indian Country. (Source: Semtribe)
In 2006, the Tribe obtained what is now known as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino after beating 72 bidders. The Seminoles generated about $5 billion in revenue in 2016 from its various operations, including 23 hotels, 11 casinos, and 168 Hard Rock cafés.
Members of the Tribe receive $128,000 a year in biweekly payments. By the time Seminole children reach the age of 18, they become multimillionaires, as neither the child nor the parents are permitted to withdraw cash from the trust funds until the youngsters reach adulthood. (Source: Money Inc)