Recently, I took a drive out to the Low Desert (Cochella Valley/Salton Sea area) of SoCal. Since it was hotter than $hit, I decided to go to one of the so-called "Indian" Casinos.
I saw a rather interesting sign at the entrance when driving in:
'Welcome to the Sovereign Nation of _______ Tribe' (I don't want to say which one it was).
Then, after having a nice lunch, I decided to try my luck on the [quarter] slot machines.
Well, I stuck a $20 in, and after winning a few, losing a few, with 35 credits still on it, I hit a jackpot (10,000 quarters, or $2500).
So I thought that was cool. Definitely made my day. But then, before giving me the stack of cash, I had to fill out a declaration that I indeed won that money, and it is subject to taxation. So as I walked out of there with a stack of 25 fresh new Uncle Bens in my pocket, and a lot of quarters (I always quit when I'm ahead), one thing trouble me. If this was really the "soverign" nation they claimed to be, then why am I being required to sign tax forms? If this Reservation is indeed "out of the country", then technically, whatever I win there is none of the IRS's business. Also, there was no "customs" at the "border". The currency didn't bother me. Heck, most of Mexico uses the US$D.
So can someone please 'splain to me what's going on?