Thursday, February 3, 2011

Will Legalized Gaming Throughout CA Solve Our Budget Crisis? Could Supreme Court decision Make the Crisis Worse?

California's budget deficit is nearing $25 BILLION dollars.   We've asked a few times in the past if it's past time to legalize gaming in our state.    With court decisions looming about whether the failed former Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempt to strong arm tribes into paying into the general fund being legal, we need to find sources of income.    Taxing the rich just won't be enough, they can simply leave our state for one with smaller tax rates.

Jerry Brown has taken a MILLION DOLLARS from tribal interests, much less from racetracks and card clubs.  Who will he be beholden to?

Dan Morain has an article up in the Sacramento Bee that speaks to the issues:

 In a case with serious implications for this state and others, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide next month whether to review a lower-court decision barring California from collecting payments from tribes in exchange for granting them more slot machines.
 When Brown was attorney general, his deputies appealed on behalf of Schwarzenegger who had demanded millions from the Rincon band of Indians in San Diego County, in exchange for supporting the tribe's casino expansion. When Rincon refused to pay, talks broke down, and the tribe sued the state.

 If the high court leaves in place the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling, tribes that currently pay $364 million a year into California's general fund would be suckers not to consider ceasing their payments – and they are no one's suckers.

We know tribes like Pechanga are delaying making payments to the City of Temecula and are now embroiled in a lawsuit with the city.   Imagine if tribes refuse to pay what they agreed to?  Their lobbyists can stave off investigations from politicians.

Compacts expire in 2019, we need to think about not extending them, expanding gaming into state government regulated businesses like those in Nevada and reap the benefits of online poker.   Californians spend a lot of money at both tribal casinos and Las Vegas venues.   We need the funds for California, so that we don't eliminate programs from our schools, and health care from our seniors

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