During the 1990s two Connecticut Indian tribes built the world’s two biggest gambling casinos in the southeastern corner of the state, resulting in what has been termed a “gambling Chernobyl.”
The Curse is a novel based on those events.
It begins in 1637 with the massacre of the Pequot Indians and a curse delivered by a Pequot sachem to the young English soldier who is about to kill him. The story then jumps 350 years as the soldier’s thirteenth-generation descendant, Josh Williams, becomes embroiled in a battle to stop a newly-minted Indian tribe from building a third casino that threatens his town and ancestral home.
The lure of easy money drives everyone, from the tribe’s chief to a shadowy Miami billionaire, venal politicians, and Providence mobsters, while a small, quintessential New England town must choose between preserving its character or accepting an extraordinary proposal that will change it forever.
As the battle over the casino reaches a climax, Josh discovers startling truths about his family’s past—including centuries-old events that appear to be impacting the present with devastating effect.
The two Connecticut casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, were part of a first wave of national casino construction that has brought the total number of U.S. casinos to nearly 1,000, including some 460 Indian casinos in 28 states. Now, starved for cash and loath to raise taxes, more and more states are looking to casinos and other forms of gambling—from scratch-off tickets to the new frontier of internet waging—as “painless” ways to increase revenue, setting the stage for a new wave of gambling expansion.
In the Northeast, Massachusetts is in the process of selecting sites for its first three casinos, Rhode Island could get its first full casinos through two referendums on the this November’s ballot, and New York is actively considering casino expansion in New York City and on Long Island.
About Robert H. Steele
Steele represented southeastern Connecticut in Congress prior to the arrival of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, and lived next to the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Ledyard, Connecticut from 1978–98, providing him a front row seat for one of the most remarkable continuing stories in the state’s history. [more]