Cover image for Revenge of the Pequots : how a small Native American tribe created the world's most profitable casino
Revenge of the Pequots : how a small Native American tribe created the world's most profitable casino
Eisler, Kim Isaac.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [2001]

Physical Description:
267 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E99.P53 E57 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order


Author Notes

Kim Isaac Eisler, a former staff writer for American Lawyer, is the national editor of Washingtonian magazine

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Moved by his grandmother's stories about their Pequot Indian forebears, Richard "Skip" Hayward resolved to revive the tribe's identity and fortunes--and succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. He contacted canny attorney Tom Tureen, who had helped two Maine tribes obtain federal government recognition, which New England tribes, having settled with colonial governments, had never enjoyed, and got the same for the Pequots. Casting about for a profitable enterprise for the tribe, Hayward eventually took another cue from the Maine tribes and, after heavy lobbying and legal maneuvering at federal and State of Connecticut levels, opened a big-payoff bingo parlor. It worked out so well that Hayward decided to try something Maine's laws prevented but Connecticut's didn't--running a casino. With financing from a Malaysian billionaire and shrewd politicking to frustrate competition from Vegas' Steve Wynn and Atlantic City's Donald Trump, the Pequots spearheaded the '90s Indian gaming phenomenon. And they got rich. Journalist Eisler tells the Pequot success story so briskly that there isn't one dull page in the book. --Ray Olson

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this well-paced legal and political saga, journalist Eisler (A Shark Tank; A Justice for All) recounts the deft maneuvering by Connecticut's tiny Pequot tribe in its fight to establish Foxwoods, now the most profitable high-stakes casino in the world. European accounts from the early 16th century describe the Pequots (meaning "destroyers") as "the most numerous, the most warlike, the fiercest and the bravest of all the aboriginal clans of Connecticut." After major defeats at the hands of the English and the Dutch, the tribe was declared dissolved in 1638, although some diehard Pequots retained their identity despite their declining numbers. By the 1970s, they had dwindled to some 55 souls, mostly living below the poverty line, when tribal chairman "Skip" Hayward lined up some legal-aid lawyers and, in effect, declared war with modern legal tools (including contributions of "soft money" to the Democratic National Party, which gained them the direct support of President Clinton). The cast of characters includes Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Donald Trump. Packaged with a flashy, attention-grabbing cover, this climactic revenge narrativeÄwhich turned southeastern Connecticut's economy upside down, with employees leaving local businesses in droves for the chance to work at Foxwoods while the Pequots donated cards and dice to the local school systems in the hopes of turning kids into future employeesÄreveals that, like it or not, the Native American is a "Casino-American," and that it's a brave new world. (Feb. 16) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Call from the Presidentp. 13
I. Beginningsp. 23
1. The Pequots Meet the Englishp. 25
2. The Rise and Fall of Mashantucketp. 46
II. Battling the Oddsp. 61
3. Tom Terrificp. 63
4. Bingo Billiep. 89
5. A Tribe Wins at Pokerp. 108
III. Jackpot!p. 121
6. "Dances With Wolves"p. 123
7. The Land Bridge to Asiap. 141
8. The Bells Begin Ringingp. 165
IV. Cashing Inp. 183
9. Grand Plans and Growing Painsp. 185
10. Turnabout Is Unfair Playp. 193
11. The Battle of Old Blue Eyesp. 204
12. The Pequots Lose a Betp. 216
13. Hail to the Chiefp. 230
Acknowledgmentsp. 243
Source Note and Bibliographyp. 245
Indexp. 253