Need cash fast? The Lac du Flambeau Chippewa’s online payday loan centers are there for you. Want to place an online bet? The tribe soon hopes to handle that for you as well.
Three years after the Lac du Flambeau defaulted on a $50 million bond — a move that remains the subject of a court fight — and five years after it considered mortgaging portions of its reservation, the Vilas County tribe is aggressively looking at the Internet for ways to increase its revenue.
Tom Maulson, the tribe’s blunt-talking president, dismisses critics who see gambling and high-interest, short-term lending as businesses that prey on the poor. “It’s legal to do, and we’re doing it legally,” Maulson said.
Considering how hard Republicans in Wisconsin have worked to loosen regulation of predatory payday lenders in our state, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more stories like this.