Native American Tribal Attorney Gabe Galandan, an enrolled member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes of Covelo, California has an interesting blog post up
This syndicated opinion, “America’s gambling addiction threatens the nation’s soul,” which appears in newspapers across the country today, brings into stark focus why Indian gaming is not forever.
While Indian gaming, i.e. the tribal brick-and-mortar casino as we currently know it, has not outlasted its useful life, there will come a time when Indian gaming, or at least its $26 billion in annual gross revenues, will fall off, if not fade away.
That's something I told my children a decade ago. Little did I know that our family's per capita would come to an abrupt end, after Pechanga's tribal council violated the tribal constitution and bylaws to cut hundreds off of per capita payments of over $265,000 per year. All so that the remaining tribal members could take their per capita to over $325,000 per year.
Now, with the declining economy and in Pechanga's case, bad publicity, excess monies spent on ballot initiatives and to lobby Washington, the tribal per capita has diminished. As Galandan points out in his post, states will see that tribes have had an advantage, and that advantage can no longer be supported at the expense of the state.
In California's case, courts have ruled that former Governor Shwarzenegger's (has a great sound to it, doesn't it? FORMER Governor) attempt to strong arm tribes in getting them to pay more for extra slots was invalid. That means that the promises tribes made to help balance our budget won't come to fruition. It makes sense to open gaming establishments RUN BY THE STATE, so we can use that money to run our state.
Tribes like Pechanga, have proven untrustworthy. Their council has lied, cheated, stolen from rightful Pechanga people and gaming has simply made some rich, but has not benefitted all tribes as we were told. It's past time for the state of CA to legalize gaming so we can all benefit from those gaming dollars.