Friday, April 19, 2013
FRESNO BEE EDITORIAL: CA Legislature Should REJECT OFF RESERVATION CASINO Deals.
The FRESNO BEE, which has done a great job focusing on the corruption at the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians has an editorial up on off reservation gaming, coming out against. Not going far enough, we believe that tribes like Enterprise, which has violated the civil and human rights of their people, should NOT get a casino at ALL. They should NOT be rewarded for civil rights violations. In fact, since Indian Tribes have had a head start, it's time for CA to get into the gambling game and get ALL the money we can get from gamblers.
One of the biggest issues that the state Legislature will decide this year involves the future of Indian gaming.
Two tribes -- the North Fork Rancheria in the foothills north of Fresno and the Enterprise Rancheria> near Marysville -- won approval from President Barack Obama's interior secretary last year to acquire land more than 30 miles from their original reservations.
Gov. Jerry Brown then unwisely concurred in that decision and negotiated gambling compacts with the tribes.
The problem is, Indian gambling has exploded well beyond the "modest increase" voters were promised when they approved casino gambling 13 years ago.
While most casinos are still in remote locations, a new push by tribes to purchase additional land at lucrative freeway locations threatens to kick off a whole new casino boom.
The Legislature should reduce that threat by rejecting the ill-conceived North Fork and Enterprise gambling compacts approved by the governor. An informational hearing on the compacts by the Assembly's Governmental Organization Committee is scheduled for next Thursday.
The North Fork tribe wants to build its casino on Highway 99 near Madera. The Enterprise Indians are looking to construct their new gambling hall just off Highway 65 in Yuba County.
Powerful opponents and proponents are lined up on both sides. Deep-pocketed investors from Nevada and Chicago are bankrolling the Enterprise and North Fork efforts. Meanwhile, existing gambling tribes oppose them, angered that their own gambling enterprises will be placed at a competitive disadvantage.
The Enterprise and North Fork tribes are engaged in reservation shopping at its most blatant. It breaks faith with voters who were told that gambling would be confined to existing Indian lands -- remote areas of the state for the most part, not plopped down near cities.
There is only so much disposable income for gambling in California, and the state is already saturated with casinos. Each one that is added takes from another. It's a zero-sum game.