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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Can Rincon Deal Allow Other Tribes To Challenge Their Compacts?


REMEMBER all the promises that if we expanded Indian Gaming that our budgets would be balanced?   LIE    REMEMBER when the tribes said they'd take care of their people?  LIE  
If tribes want to renegotiate, SHUT DOWN THE CASINO until negotiations are ended. 

San Diego County’s Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians this month became the first California tribe to get a casino agreement through the federal courts.The deal came after the tribe recently won a years-long legal fight against the state over demands for revenue sharing in exchange for permission to expand.

Whether other tribes try to take the same legal path is the big unknown. Several hundred million dollars in tribal revenue-sharing payments to the state general fund are in play.
“Can they get the same kind of agreement that Rincon has been able to achieve? The answer is maybe,” said Rincon lawyer Scott Crowell.
Added George Forman, an attorney for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians near Banning: “We’re all asking ourselves that same question.”
The Rincon band sued California in 2004 after the Schwarzenegger administration demanded that the tribe agree to pay millions to the state’s general fund in return for permission to add 900 slot machines to its casino, Harrah’s Rincon Casino and Resort.
Lower courts sided with the tribe’s position that the general fund payments are an illegal tax and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene in 2011. That triggered more negotiations with the state.
The two sides failed to reach an agreement. In 2012, a mediator presented the tribe’s proposed compact to the U.S Department of the Interior. Earlier this month, the department issued “secretarial procedures” that imposes the deal on the state.
Under the procedures, the Rincon tribe will pay into special state accounts meant to pay for gambling regulators and assist poor tribes that have little or no gaming. The tribe also is negotiating with San Diego County on setting up a local casino mitigation fund. But the tribe will not pay into the state’s general fund.
IMPLICATIONS
California voters authorized gambling on tribal land in 2000. Those deals did not require payments to the general fund, the source of money for most state services.
After taking office in 2003, though, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger insisted on general-fund payments as part of new or renegotiated deals with several tribes, including major agreements in 2004 and 2006.
The latter tribes included the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians near Temecula, the Morongo band, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians near San Bernardino, and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in the Coachella Valley.
In 2011-12, the state received $369 million in tribal revenue-sharing payments for the general fund. It will receive an estimated $337 million in 2012-13 and 2013-14; the decline reflects a temporary stop to payments from two financially struggling tribes.   OP:  HOW can we balance our budget when gambling revenues are SHRINKING??
Under a post-Rincon legal scenario, tribes making general fund payments to the state could seek to reduce or end the payments. If the state refused, a tribe could file a lawsuit that presumably would end the same way as the Rincon case.   OP:  Lawsuit?  Okay, then no gaming until it's settled.
The Brown administration believes that the Rincon case applies only to future casino deals, not previous ones that all sides had agreed to, spokesman Evan Westrup said.
It was unclear last week if any tribes have expressed an interest in re-opening their agreements in light of the Rincon deal. Representatives of Inland tribes did not respond to requests for comment and the governor’s office declined to comment.
Crowell, the Rincon attorney, said it is unknown how courts would view an attempt to change an existing compact.
“The tribes agreed to the tax rates that the Schwarzenegger administration demanded,” he said.
PUBLIC SENTIMENT
A legal fight could have implications beyond the courtroom.
Any attempts to reduce tribes’ revenue-sharing payments to the state could make California voters more receptive to proposals to end tribes’ monopoly on Las Vegas-style games.
“I have heard tribes mention that perhaps the Rincon path might be the route they choose to strike a better deal,” said David Quintana, a Sacramento lobbyist whose clients include tribes with casinos.
“While it is good in the short run, in the long run it might be opening a Pandora’s box for other people to get into the gaming world,” he said.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

DAVID QUINTANA is the lobbyist for California Tribal Business Alliance. That's Howard Dicksteins pet lobbyist group and PAC group. I wish these lobbyists would shut the hell up and crawl back into the hole they squirmed out of. The moment when tribes shifted awah for wahats good for their people and instead shited towards what is good for their gaming attorneys pocketbook and their lackey lobbyist is when our tribes lost their humanity and become instead "All about the money." Quintana, Elmets, Dickstein and all your F street friends, kiss my ass!

Anonymous said...

@4:00 AM, you are 100% right, these men have made a mockery of the Indian way and proved that greed is a very powerful and evil medicine, they have not only robbed the natives of their gaming revenue, but have robbed the natives of their native pride and the true natives of their heritage. Little by little they are chiseling away at the Native American Culture and they will continue until it is completely destroyed.

Anonymous said...

Tribal gaming was authorized by the voters? The right to legally operate gaming facilities is guaranteed by the US Supreme Court, even if voters did not agree, tribes would still be able to operate gaming facilities, since CA operates lottery type games. Also, the lawsuit is needed becasue the state is not willing to negotiate with tribes in "good faith" which kicks in federal courts. The federal governmnet has to decide between State Soverignty and Tribal Sovereignty, and when tribal interests are in line with federal interests, Cabazon case is an example of how federal interests and tribal interests align, then the State will never win. Good for Rincon, and all Southern California tribes operating Casinos for self-determination and economic development. I don't think the Casino's are destroying culture, heritage, and pride, if anything they are providing the resources to revitalize and strenghthen culture and pride. People who oppose gaming by tribes like to suggest that Casino's destroy culture, most of these people are non-Indian and are assuming that Indians have to live up to some imaginary ideal of Indianness and culutral identity. People are benefiting from the resources generated by gaming facilities, stop thinking that Casino's are wrong.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong, the drugs are rampant in these tribes and more young people are dying, from partying too much, look at the statistics for death among youth in Casino Tribes in the last ten years. The only ones benefiting are the Executive Committees and anyone who bends to their illegal, violent ways. It is true that some, very few, natives have made better for themselves, but the numbers are staggering compared to what they should be. There needs to be more guidelines that need to be followed in order to have the tribal governments work right without kicking out legit members that question their actions and more guidelines for young adults to receive their funds, like mandatory credit courses and drug/alcohol prevention classes. The problem is that too many outsiders see the money coming in and find their way into the reservations bringing their greed and addictions with them.

Anonymous said...

The right to operate is guaranteed by the Suprene Court?..what rock did you crawl out of? So the tribes spent millions of dollars on commercials to try to talk voters into allowing gambling in California and you say they already had the right?....bullshit....what a joke you are!!

Anonymous said...

Hey February 20, 2013 at 9:21 pm...
In the 1981 case Seminole Trbie v. Butterworth, a federal court affirmed a tribes right to operate tribal gaming facilities, but with am implicit divestiture (meaning the court can determine the extent of tribal soverignty. Then in 1987 in Cabazon v. California, the US Supreme Court oiverturned exisisting gambling laws and allowed tribes to conduct gaming facilities on Indian land. Congress panicked and quickly passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) which outlines the negotiating and regualtion process of trbies conducting gaming operations. Part of that regulatory act (which in my opinion coupled with the implicit divestiture greatly limited tribal options and reduced tribal soverignty) stated the States and tribes can enter into negotiations in order to create tribal-state commpacts. The Propositions that you voted for that you claim "allows" tribes to operate gaming, is not anything but the California citizenry "allowing" their Governor to negotiate compacts with tribes. And yes, tribes specnt millions of dollars educating peole on why it is important to allow your State Government to negotiate with tribes. THe above article explains what would happen if the State, the voters, and the Governor failed to negotiate with tribes in "good faith," and I applaud Rincon and all SO CAl tribes for standing up to the State and expressing their right to operate gaming facilities as outlined in the IGRA and explained by the US Supreme Court. Also, drugs and alcohol has always been rampant on Indian Reservations, in fact Indian Country suffers from some of the worst instances of violence, crime, drugs and alcohol dependence, health care, education attainment, and unemployment, and know you want to blame the only thing that has helped alleviate some of these socail ills. Before Casino's most tribes, and most still are, were dependent on federal money and resources which were limited, now that tribal communities can generate their own sources of revenue and income, they are becoming independent, and most non-Indian people see this as a threat. Stop bashing Casino's and start being part of the solution, not the problem.

Luiseno said...

First off is that WE ARE Indian people , we have a long history with our Tribes that can be traced back hundreds of years, from before the creation of our reservations. We are recognized as Indians by the State of California and our various other states as Indian People(even though some ,not all> in our Tribes no longer do so). It appears that as an outsider you have no idea as to what is going on or what we have been talking about. It is about the take over of our various tribes by (sometimes non-Indians) people who have held long time grudges, or who want to remove large blocks of voters from the Tribe who would vote against there abuse of power. Sometimes it is also done to allow those who remain to receive a higher percentage of income. Some of us see the Casino's and the huge influx of money (sometimes millions in there own pocket) as the final deciding factor to remove members who would be a roadblock to them (remember we are talking about millions of extra dollars in there pockets, people have been killed for less)

Anonymous said...

Reply to feb 21 at 4.44. They aren't independent...they are VERY dependent on us non- indian people to continue to play at the unregulated machines....and don't tell me they have a gaming commission...that is a big joke....that's the same as the fox guarding the hen house.,,the tribes are destroying their own to pad the remaining members pockets...it's a crime.And should be stopped.

Anonymous said...

Having been a weekly gambler since the Tribal Casinos opened, there is no doubt that the tribes or management has fixed the machines for much lower payouts. After getting many taxable wins for the last 15 years, (with the same amount of playing) I am down to getting very few taxable wins the last couple of years . And the wins are very low even on the few I got. Having made many friends at the Casinos, I notice the " regulars" are gone. The slot techs have nothing to do but stand around. They blame it on the penny machines, but I only play the dollar and 5 dollar machines. It's not my imagination, the proof is in the tax slips. I have decided to stop going myself. Just another weekly regular, gone. I hear it has to do with the tribal members not wanting their per cap to go down even more, so the machines are fixed. And you have to be a fool to think they can't fix them....who is the gaming commission?...right, the tribal members...now why would they want the gamblers to win if it cut into their per cap???

Anonymous said...

Why do you think the Casinos are corrupot just because you are losing. Gambling is stupid in the first place, all Casinos are designed to favor the house, everybody knows that. By the way, Feb 22, 4:59, that is my exact point tribes will never be able to gain independence form the federal government, if you do not like donating your hard earned money to the tribal casinos then do not gamble, gambling is not designed to pay out, the house always wins. Just becasue tribes operate gaming facilities you think they are corrupt, why because they are Native American? that is weak...the gaming commission is regualted by the federal government, try to stop bashing legitimate gaming businesses that allow tribal communities to finally have the opportunties to participate within soceity without having to negotiate poverty. Sounds like you two people lose to much money at the Casino, stop gambling it is not good for you.

Anonymous said...

The actual Casinos do not reflect what is going on in the reservations themselves, most Casino Reservations are proving to be imploding from the greed and power of the Tribal Leaders, only those who live on them or are members of them are experiencing the downfall of the evilness involved.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any reading comprehension??...when you have been going to the same places for close to 15 years and all of a sudden things change drastically...something is going on. I willingly go to the Casinos and expect to lose...but not raped!...just like your leaders are doing to the members they kicked out....and yes, I think many of the leaders are corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Leaders may be corrupt, and you may be losing money, but that does not mean the Casino is corrupt, and the tribal community is corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Come on now...I read on here all the time.....if the tribes would cheat their own, why wouldn't they cheat the gamblers?...it's all about the per cap.....the members want more....not less.

Anonymous said...

The per capita is based on a specific percentage. Are yoiu specifically talking about Pechanga Casino or tribal casinos in general, becasue each community is different. Dis-enrollment is an issue that a lot of people have opinions on, this website is just one. I for one beleive that tribes have the rigth to regulate tribal membership and to determine their membership without any external interference.