Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rincon, Morongo leave CNIGA. Pechanga member still in charge

Exodus from tribal gaming association

Interesting. Certainly wouldn't be the cost of dues. Why would the tribe's leave?

December 07, 2007 SACRAMENTO --

California's most powerful Indian gambling alliance appears to have lost nearly a third of its members in an exodus driven by tensions within the organization. Twenty-two tribes, including big gaming operators like Rincon of north San Diego County and Morongo of east Riverside County, did not rejoin the California Nations Indian Gaming Association by Thursday, the deadline to participate in the annual election of new officers, sources close to the organization said.
Some of those tribes still could renew and pay their dues, which were officially due Nov. 1. At least two indicated checks will soon be in the mail. But many of the 22 are not expected to return after months of internal haggling over competing interests of gaming and nongaming tribes. With the departures, the organization -- a political force in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. -- will have a little more than 40 members, its smallest membership in years. Some of the defections were spurred by the group's decision to raise minimum annual dues from $650 to $5,000. Big gaming tribes pay more than $80,000 a year.
But the nonrenewals were split almost equally between gaming and nongaming tribes. The latter included Jamul and Manzanita of San Diego County. There apparently was no disagreement about who should lead the association.
Two-term CNIGA Chairman Anthony Miranda was elected unanimously to a third term.

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