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Ho-Chunk members burning through money fast

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BLACK RIVER FALLS (WKOW) -- If you are a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, you receive $12,000 a year from gambling profits.

If you're under the age of 18, you won't receive money until your 18th birthday. On that day you receive $200,000.

Troy Wallace fell in love with a car while a student at Black River Falls High School, which was a Pontiac GTO.

As a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, he knew the expensive muscle car could eventually be his. Once he was 18 and had his high school diploma he'd come into $110,000, his share of tribal casino profits accumulated since birth.

"I was excited, definitely excited, what kid wouldn't be? It's like winning the lottery in a way," said Wallace.

The salesman started drafting loan documents. Wallace paid for the car with a cashier's check. He also bought his brother a car, as well as help his dad pay off debt.

He quickly burned through the money. His story is not uncommon for Ho-Chunk.

When it started in the mid-1990s, the payout was $17,000 but has now skyrocketed to more than $200,000 after taxes.

Now tribal lawmakers have opened a new conversation about the money with a proposal that would stagger the payouts and tie some of it to college, military service and employment seems like we need a 'now, some tribal lawmakers want to delay the payments further.

The tribe is one of about 70 nationally -- of 225 tribes operating gaming facilities -- that distributes some profits from its gaming operations directly to members via a quarterly dividend payment, according to a 2009 study by the Center for Social Development in St. Louis.

For the full story check out this Sunday's Wall Street Journal.

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