Monday, January 7, 2008

CA Props 94-97; NO to Indian Gaming Compacts

Vote NO on expanded gaming. This deal is NOT good for CA, it's great for the four tribes, including civil rights violator Pechanga.

California Propositions 94–97: Indian Gaming Compacts – NO

By Peter L. StahlPete Rates the Propositions

Props 94 through 97 would allow four southern California Indian tribes to expand their casinos so they would be among the largest in the world. In exchange the tribes would pay billions of dollars into the state’s General Fund. Sounds like a painless solution California’s budget crisis, right? That’s certainly what the legislature and governor thought when they approved these compacts last June. But this isn’t a good way to balance the budget, and the agreements are tilted too heavily in the tribes’ favor anyway. We can do better—much better. Vote down the compacts to encourage a better solution to our budget crisis, or at least send the parties back to the bargaining table. OP: Trying to balance our budget with only four tribes is very poor planning.
The tribes in question—Pechanga, Morongo, Sycuan and Agua Caliente—currently operate five casinos in Riverside and San Diego counties. Their existing compacts with the state allow each of them 2,000 slot machines. Props 94-97 will increase this to 5,000 for Sycuan and Agua Caliente and 7,500 for Pechanga and Morongo. For comparison, the enormous MGM Grand in Las Vegas has only half that number at 3,700.
Calculating from one of the compacts, each slot machine brings in approximately $130,000 a year in net profit (after payouts), so the four tribes’ 8,000 machines currently bring in $1.04 billion profit a year. Under the existing compacts the tribes pay nothing to the state’s General Fund. Instead, they pay roughly $74 million (THIS WILL GO AWAY in the new compacts, so in effect, $1.5 BILLION comes off the $9 Billion they are promising) into special funds for local governments, poorer tribes, and other purposes. That’s an effective tax rate of 7%. OP: If you make over $63,000 in CA,you pay 9.3%! Pretty sweet for the tribes.

Props 94-97 will impose a new payment to the General Fund. It will start with a base of $123 million (11.8% of the profit on the existing 8,000 machines), and add 15% of the net profit from the first 20,000 new slot machines, plus an additional 10% of the net profit on the final 5,000 machines at Pechanga and Morongo. If the $130,000 per machine figure holds for all new slots, this would mean $675 million in new income for the General Fund once all 25,000 new slot machines are operational. Pretty sweet for the state.
Or is it?
The profits from all 33,000 machines will be about $4.3 billion, yielding an effective tax rate of 15%. This might be high for a regular business, but we’re talking about gambling. Compare it to the Lottery, which is “taxed” at a whopping 83%—that is, of income not used for prizes or operational costs, 83% goes to public education, with the rest used for retailer commissions and bonuses. Props 94-97 will turn that equation around for Indian casinos: 85% of profit will go to the tribes, (ALL 1800 people!) the rest to the state. Obviously we should negotiate a better deal. If these propositions fail, that’s what will happen.

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Anonymous said...

WHY isn't this information in our voting pamphlets?
Are you sure of the totals for the tribal members? 1800 or 18 THOUSAND?
Are there really that few members in the tribes?

'aamokat said...

Yes, 1800 is the correct numbers as the so called "Big Four" are actually very small tribes in terms of the number of members.

They are just big in dollar amounts.

Some other numbers, they are only four of the 108 tribes in California and they each have big succesful casinos already.

So if these propostions don't pass, they will not be losing a thing as they are rich already without the exansions.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to get information on these along with all of the other props coming up and I have just thumbed through your website and have a bunch of questions (which I won't post now). The only comment I have is it sounds like you are opposed because of the availability of a better deal or is it all the "bad" things the leaders of these tribes have done?

OPechanga said...


The answer is BOTH. Each of these propositions are a separate issue. We can vote yes or no on any of them. No to Pechanga, Yes to Sycuan for instance.

It's more than "bad" things in Pechanga's case. They have eliminated 25% of the tribe, simply because they wanted to keep the money that was going to them to themselves. They took health coverage away from our elders, leaving them to fend for themselves, all the while, laughing at them for their plight.

I DO NOT WANT the Pechanga Tribe to be rewarded for violating their citizens civil rights and human rights. There are 400 more people that are in an illegal moratorium that should be in the tribe. The constitution states OPEN ENROLLMENT in January.

The other tribes got a sweetheart deal, (as well as Pechanga, of course) Look, IF the states get $9 Billion as the ads claim, then the tribes are going to get $36 Billion to split between 1800 people. If the state got more, say 45% (not bad for an exclusive deal) The tribes would get $24billion and the 1800 members would make $13 MILLION apiece. Not bad.

I'd still be for NO on Pechanga for what they did to my family, via termination and paper genocide and for what they have done to the Manuela Miranda family and those of all of our family in the moratorium.

Check out too