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Tribe Books Massive Reservation at the Hard Rock

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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WAMPUM RICH Chief A Native American tribe is buying up a treasure trove of Americana—including classic pop paraphernalia and the glitzy gambling hub of young Hollywood. Madonna's Gaultier bustier, Chuck Berry's and Kurt Cobain's guitars, Britney Spears various cast-off outfits, and, presumably, the Village People's Native American headdress—along with 124 horribly tacky Hard Rock Cafés, concert venues, and casinos (including the Ben Affleck haunt in Las Vegas). The pricetag: $965 million.

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Where does a people decimated by settlers accumulate so much scrilla? To start, the Hard Rock casinos that the tribe already owns in Tampa and Hollywood, Florida, rake in about $37.4 million a month, according to the Miami Herald. The Seminoles may have made their early bones in alligator wrestling (their chief has the stump to prove it), but its leaders are now bona fide business titans, complete with their own scandals. What a country.

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