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Neon Buffalo, a Feature Length Documentary Film Exploring the History of Indian Gaming.


N E O N   B U F F A L O

Neon Buffalo is a feature length documentary film exploring the history of Indian gaming from the first bingo halls to today's destination resorts.

The film delves deeper into Indian Gaming than slot machines and black jack tables. Neon Buffalo examines Indian gaming's role as the economic manifestation of a social revolution that began throughout Indian Country decades before the first casino doors opened. This story is told through the words of the people who laid hands to the bricks and mortar, fought the battles on Capitol Hill, operated gaming facilities, gained employment where there had been none to be found, squared off with over-zealous law enforcement, and defended the legal significance of the word Sovereign.

Casino Roulette Wheel Casino Roulette Wheel. Photo by iStockPhoto

We see their bright lights on the outskirts of our cities and hear their jingles along the immense stillness of American highways. We sit at their poker tables, take a spin on their roulette wheels, and go wild in their nightclubs. Indian casinos have been woven as deeply into the fabric of American Industry as tobacco and corn, yet we all wonder about the foundations of the bingo parlors and destination resorts that comprise modern Indian gaming.

Games of chance and skill have been integral to American Indian cultures since well before Europeans and their vices arrived in the Western Hemisphere. In traditional hand games, hoop games, and bone games, tribal members earned respect for consistently beating the odds. To win consistently at games of chance showed the spirits were with you.

Even with perfect play, the House maintains a mathematical advantage of up to 10% over any player on the floor. The gambler never quits believing that they are luckier than the statistics indicate. Gambling can be thrilling and lucrative, but is potentially addictive. The gamble draws its allure from the root of human experience, a showdown between us and our circumstances.