Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is it Time to Legalize Casino Gaming Off Tribal Lands in CA?

It's time for California to legalize gambling, regulate it, tax it and reap the benefits of casinos in our higher populated cities.

California faces a budget crisis that is reaching critical mass.    Two years ago, tribes promised us with exaggerated claims,  that we'd reduce our budget deficits if we passed Props. 94-97.    Schwarzenegger said it was good for California, knowing at the time that one of the tribes hadn't even taken it before their people.  Some tribes even tried to keep Californians from voting on the propositions

Where are we two years later, not only didn't expanded gaming fulfill it's promise to California,  tribes haven't even benefitted.   All the slots we were told would bring MORE dollars to California haven't even been placed into casinos.  Tribal gaming is suffering from economies.

Self-Reliance has become a joke, replaced by civil rights violations, tribal citizenships destroyed so that remaining tribal members could steal per capita from rightful citizens, that we've documented here many times.  Many tribes have not benefitted from gaming, that was promised by Pechanga's Chairman Mark Macarro when we passed Props. 1A and 5 a decade ago.   Tribes have gained political clout, from the monopoly established by allowing gaming on reservation land, which, while good for tribes, has not been as good for CA citizens, other than our politicians. 

We need revenue and the trickle that CA gets from tribal gaming needs to be a flood.    More jobs, more spending here in our state, less money spent to get to distant casinos or Las Vegas.   We need gaming legalized and regulated so that we can see where the money goes.    You do realize that we have NO RIGHT to audit tribal books?   They are self regulating.   I'm not saying we can't trust the tribes, but, hey, they've cheated their own people, why would they cheat Californians too?  Or as some tribal people put it... "normal people".

What do you think?


Robert said...

Increasing the presence of gambling is a really bad idea. Why increase the availability of a known destructive social vice as an answer to economic problems? Do we really think that non-tribe management will be so much better (this idea seems to be based on that). More corruption, more screwed-up lives, and in reality, like alcohol, the actual financial costs far outweigh what it brings in in costs of accidents, rehab, lost work, social programs and on and on.
And the social and personal costs would be more than we want to have on our conscience. Would we then want to legalize prostitution as an answer also? Not exactly the same but you get the idea.
Let's clean up and restore California in the correct and most socially beneficial ways.

Erick Rhoan said...

The only thing I'm confused on is whether off-reservation gaming is going to be wholly managed and controlled by Indian tribes, and the State gets to tax it; or whether the State just legalizes gambling and any private corporation or individual can open Vegas-style casino.

Either way, I'm not sure whether that will really solve California's budget problem.

OPechanga said...

I'd envision that the state legalizes gaming, just as Nevada does. I believe that they take 25% of gaming from the casinos.

That's much more than we get now from most tribal casinos. Plus, good casinos in populated areas should keep some Californians from heading to Nevada.

Tribes that have cheated their citizens shouldn't benefit from a monopoly. They've had a decade of reaping the rewards and turned around and screwed their people. Let's not extend the compacts and have tribes take their head start and compete.

Tribes even now are trying to keep OTHER TRIBES from getting casinos. That's not self reliance

Erick Rhoan said...

I agree that self-reliance has been mocked by the greed of gaming tribes. It has put a major bulls-eye on tribal sovereign immunity and is the primary motivator behind rampant civil rights abuses in Indian Country.

If the State of California were to legalize gaming, then it would force tribes to diversify their "portfolios," i.e. expanding into other industries. They've already done it in the lending industry, and courts have recently held that tribal sovereign immunity applies to those operations as well. I wonder if Indians have aroused so much bad press that no one will do business with them for fear of being shafted in the event of a harm or contract breach because tribes are shielded from immunity.

For example, Chukchansi tried to rip off their building contractors once on sovereign immunity grounds. I don't know how that worked out in the end though.

There's always good and bad things to go along with legalizing gaming in California, so I guess maybe it's a good thing to have tribes diversify and bring an end to their gaming monopoly.

Anonymous said...

Well at least if the State had Casinos..they would be NON-SMOKING!!....thousands of people a day are now subjected to 2nd hand smoke at the Indian Casinos..and thousands of employees as well...and guess what?...who pays for all the medical care when these employees get cancer from breathing in this concentrated amount of smoke?...they sure cant sue the tribes for anything like most employees....what I dont understand is one time I asked a manager why I couldnt get a free drink of alcohol like in Vegas and he said "California wont allow it"...but California doesnt allow smoking in the work place whats the difference?...oh maybe its the $5 they charge for a beer and the $6 for a pack of cigs....which they probably claim as tax free yet charge for it anyway!!!